The sentencing of former Bell, California, city manager Robert Rizzo to 12 years in state prison after being found guilty of 69 charges of public corruption underscores the critical need for local government transparency and advocacy of a culture of ethics within local organizations, according to the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and its official California state affiliate, CAL-ICMA.
As a result of the Bell salary scandal, the ICMA Executive Board publicly censured and expelled Rizzo from membership on December 11, 2010. The board found that Rizzo personally benefitted from the misuse of city funds; failed in his fiduciary responsibility to ensure that public funds were legally and properly used for the public's benefit; did not fully and accurately disclose his compensation in a transparent manner; and failed in his obligation to ensure that city matters were transparent and fully communicated to the council and public.
To maintain public confidence and trust, ICMA members are expected to adhere to the highest standards of ethical conduct. The 2010 action to publicly censure and expel Rizzo was the strongest action available to the ICMA Board, which considered the case following a thorough investigation by the ICMA Committee on Professional Conduct. Continue>>>