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Disgraced Bell Admin Rizzo: 12 Years in Prison

"I am very, very sorry," Rizzo told the court before his sentencing.

The city administrator of Bell - a blue-collar city that made national headlines for its leaders' excessive salaries - was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in prison.

Robert Rizzo, who plead no contest in October on 69 counts related to financial misappropriation and fraud, was also ordered to pay $8.8 million in restitution.

While sentencing Rizzo, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy minced no words and addressed the disgraced former bureaucrat directly: "Mr. Rizzo, you did some very, very bad things for a very long time."

Rizzo apologized for his conduct in a brief statement which he read aloud in the downtown Los Angeles courtroom. "I breached the public's confidence by starting to look at the position more towards myself than towards the community," Rizzo said. "I am very, very sorry for that."

Rizzo initially received a $300,000 annual salary but his taxpayer-funded income swelled to more than $1.3 million by 2009, prosecutors said.

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