Calif. city official’s salary package topped $1.5M

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former city manager’s huge $787,000 salary is only half of the unusually generous total compensation given to the official in the small California blue-collar city of Bell, according to a city official.

Robert Rizzo’s benefits, which included 20 weeks of paid vacation, brought his total annual compensation to more than $1.5 million, according to Josh Pulliam, an interim public information officer for the city.

Mr. Rizzo was to receive $386,786 in paid vacation and sick benefits this year, in addition to his base salary, and received deposits to his investment accounts and other benefits, Mr. Pulliam said.

“As far as we can tell, it appears that Rizzo took home more money in vacation compensation than any governor in the United States makes for annual salary,” Mr. Pulliam said.

Mr. Rizzo did not immediately return telephone messages left by the Associated Press on Saturday.

The Los Angeles district attorney and the California attorney general are investigating the huge salaries of several former officials and City Council members, who earned nearly $100,000 a year before recent cuts.

On Saturday, Interim City Administrative Officer Pedro Carrillo also directed the new city attorney to launch a full investigation to analyze the legality of compensation packages for all employees as well as the departed administrators.

Mr. Rizzo, Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia and Bell police Chief Randy Adams resigned last month after a public outcry over their huge salaries in the largely working-class city of about 40,000 residents southeast of Los Angeles.

Ms. Spaccia’s total annual compensation was $845,000, including her previously reported $376,288 salary, and Mr. Adams’ total compensation came to $770,000, including his $457,000 salary, Mr. Pulliam said.

Mr. Rizzo was in line for a $600,000-a-year pension, but the California Public Employees’ Retirement System has ordered a freeze on the benefits for all three officials pending the outcome of the investigations.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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