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Rizzo Plea Deal ‘Validates’ Residents of Bell, Assembly Member Garcia States

By Brian Hews
A local Bell-area lawmaker who now serves as a member of the California State Assembly said that the no-contest plea of former Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo “validates” the residents and taxpayers of the small municipality that was thrusted into the national spotlight.
Assembly Member Cristina Garcia told Hews Media Group – Community Newspaper in a statement on Thursday that she has “mixed feelings over the plea deal that was announced by Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey earlier in the day.
“It is with mixed feelings that after three years we close this chapter, but a no contest plea is not the same as a guilty verdict,” Garcia said.
“Closing this chapter validates the resident’s efforts in Bell. It reminds us that an informed and involved public can take their government back and that justice can be served. It also sends the message to other predators that this type of behavior will be made public and that they will be punished,” she stressed.
“But because there will be no trial so there will be no way to explore or question why Mr. Rizzo chose to prey on the hard working people of Bell. Moreover, there are still other guilty individuals that are not in jail, but more importantly, the City of Bell continues to face the consequences of Rizzo’s regime and the residents will shoulder the burden for many years to come. The city still has a large bond debt, some of the highest property taxes in the county and has more than 3 dozen litigations open against the city,” the first term lawmaker said.
“I urge Mr. Rizzo to shed light on all those that participated in corruption in the City of Bell. The public needs to understand how deeply rooted the corruption is in order to remove the offenders and direct their energy to rebuilding their government.”
“Today’s plea strengthens my resolve to use my position in the State Capitol to continue to fight against predatory behavior within all levels of government and help create a more responsible and responsive government for all,” Garcia’s statement concluded.
Garcia is a Co-Founder of the political action committee called the Bell Association to Stop The Abuse, also known as BASTA.

  • Jason Vega says:

    I don’t agree with Cristina. As a life long resident of Bell I feel he is a coward who took the easy way out. Ten years is NOT enough! He will most likely be released early. Life in prison would have been a validation for the residents of Bell and to probably anyone in the State of California!