Bell Corruption Suspect Loses Racing Horse

Former Bell, Calif. city manager Robert Rizzo appears in court at the Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles Sept. 22, 2010. AP Photo

The ousted city manager of Bell, Calif. has lost his Hollywood Park horse owner's license after failing to show up for a hearing on conduct detrimental to horse racing.

Robert Rizzo, who is charged with 53 counts of looting the modest, working-class suburb where one in six people live in poverty, has been racing a small stable of thoroughbreds primarily at Emerald Downs in Washington and in Northern California.

He was arrested in September and released Oct. 7 on $2 million bail.

The Daily Racing Form reports on its website that the Hollywood Park board of stewards on Sunday suspended his owner's license. Rizzo failed to appear at a hearing on Saturday to respond to charges of conduct detrimental to horse racing.

Prosecutors last week filed two additional charges against Rizzo: one count each of misappropriation of funds and conflict of interest.

Rizzo was paid an annual salary and compensation package of $1.5 million to run a city of about 40,000 residents where one in six people live in poverty. Four City Council members who were paying themselves nearly $100,000 a year are also among those charged.

The scandal has provoked nationwide outrage and led to numerous investigations.

More Bell Coverage

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Lawyer: Bell, CA, Owes Rizzo Severance, Back Pay
Residents Long Suspected Corruption in Bell
Bell Officials Misused $50 Million, Audit Finds
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