LOS ANGELES -- The attorney for Robert Rizzo says the disgraced former city manager of Bell, Calif., has pleaded no contest to all 69 state corruption counts against him because he wants to take responsibility for mistakes he made and put his legal troubles behind him.
Attorney James Spertus said Thursday he expects Rizzo will be given 10 to 12 years in prison when he is sentenced March 12. He remains free on bail until then.
Rizzo was charged with looting the modest Los Angeles suburb he managed of more than $5 million. Authorities say he used the money to pay himself and other top city officials huge salaries. Rizzo himself had an annual salary and compensation package of $1.5 million.
Five former city council members have been convicted of similar corruption charges.