Rizzo

Wendy Leung, Staff Writer
Created: 09/05/2011 07:03:08 AM PDT

The former Bell city manager, who was once employed in Rancho Cucamonga, will receive drastically reduced pension benefits after the California Public Employees Retirement System slashed the payouts of top-paid officials.

The move means Rancho Cucamonga’s share of Robert Rizzo’s pension is also significantly reduced.

Rizzo, along with seven other former Bell officials, faces corruption charges for conspiring to inflate each other’s salaries to astronomical figures.

When news broke of the salary scandal last year, Rizzo was earning a salary of nearly $800,000 with a total compensation of nearly $1.5 million.

At the time, estimates of his CalPERS benefits totaled $650,000 annually. But Rizzo is now set to receive almost $52,000 after the state retirement board reviewed his and other government officials’ pensions.

“We took a close look at the pay that he received in Bell and concluded that most of the pay would not qualify and would not be included in the calculation of his pension benefits,” said Edward Fong, spokesman for CalPERS.

CalPERS decided just $7,100 of Rizzo’s monthly salary should be factored in the calculation of his benefits.

“It’s almost like what goes around comes around,” said Rancho Cucamonga Mayor Dennis Michael. “He was living very high on the hog at the expense of the public whether it was Rancho or Bell. I’m pleased to see what has occurred. Hopefully it gives the public a little faith in government.”

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