Scandal-plagued former Bell official sues city

By SHAYA TAYEFE MOHAJER | October 31, 2011 | 10:45 PM EDT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The former city manager of scandal-plagued Bell has filed a lawsuit against the city claiming that his contract was breached when the city stopped paying his $1.5 million salary.

In documents filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Robert Rizzo says he's owed pay and wages — with interest — because he hasn't been convicted of a felony and hasn't resigned his post.

Prosecutors say Rizzo orchestrated a scheme to bilk the Los Angeles suburb out of more than $6 million. Rizzo has pleaded not guilty.

Rizzo and seven other Bell city officials face charges of fraud and misappropriation of public funds. Authorities say Rizzo looted the coffers of Bell, a modest, blue-collar city, to pay enormous salaries to himself and others.

Rizzo could not be immediately reached for comment.