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Bell's Rizzo ordered to stand trial on another charge

Former Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo appears in court.

March 16, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Former Bell city manager Robert Rizzo was ordered to stand trial on Wednesday on yet another criminal charge - conflict of interest.

At the conclusion of the third and final preliminary hearing in the Bell corruption scandal, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Henry J. Hall said Rizzo hid his business relationship with Bell's privately contracted planning director, Dennis Tarango, on economic interest disclosure documents filed with the city each year.

"The fact that Mr. Rizzo did not disclose (the partnership) shows there is ample evidence he knew this cozy relationship with Mr. Tarango did create a conflict," Hall said.

Rizzo is already facing trial on more than 50 other corruption charges tied to the alleged bilking of city funds. He was ordered to stand trial at the end of a hearing last week.

A judge on Wednesday ruled there was enough evidence to try Rizzo on conflict of interest, but threw out a charge of misappropriation of public funds.

City News Service contributed to this report.