Former Bell official pleads guilty in DUI

WESTMINSTER — Former Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo pleaded guilty to drunk driving in a Westminster court Wednesday following his March arrest in Huntington Beach.

Rizzo, 56, of Huntington Beach, accepted a court-offered deal in which he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of drunk driving and driving with a blood alcohol content of more than .20. Rizzo's blood alcohol level was .28, or more than three times the legal limit of .08.

At about 10 p.m. March 6, Rizzo was driving home when he passed his house and tried to pull up onto his driveway but instead crashed into his neighbor's mailbox.

Witnesses called 911, and Rizzo was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor DUI.

Police stopped him in the middle of the field sobriety exam for his own safety, prosecutors said.

As part of the plea arrangement with Orange County Superior Court, he was ordered to complete a nine-month first-offender alcohol-awareness program and 10 days of community service.

Rizzo is at the center of the Bell salary scandal. He recently resigned after a Los Angeles Times investigation found that he earned nearly $800,000 a year.

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