Local news highlights include:
Ex-Bell city manager says he is a rape victim
In case you haven't heard: Robert Rizzo, Bell's city manager who paid himself $1.5 million annually, was sexually assaulted. Yep, and Rizzo is naming names. The perpetrator? The LA Times, he says. “I gotta tell you, I've been raped by newspaper,” the 56-year-old Huntington Beach resident told one of the paper's reporters when confronted at his Washington state vacation ranch. Today's article (by reporters Paul Pringle, Corina Knoll and Kim Murphy) digs deeper into Rizzo's suspicious use of city funds and penchant for horses and expensive cigars.
Indian doctor who was banned in Great Britain lands in OC
Brittany Levine of the OC Register reports on a disgraced ex-British doctor who runs Sovereign Health of California, a San Clemente drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. Timothy Sharma, who was stripped of his medical license for lying about his academic credentials and conducting unethical drug studies, tells Levine that people should forget about his past and focus on what's important: he says he's created 40 jobs for the OC economy.
Elder abuse cases ignored?
Give Jerry Brown another point for continually shattering his own stereotype. You'd think that Brown, a liberal Democrat, would use his position as California's attorney general to aggressively pursue con artists who target the elderly. According to Christina Jewett of California Watch, Brown's office has “dismissed an increasing number” of related criminal cases and also cut back on surprise nursing home inspections. Brown, who is running for governor, wouldn't comment for the story but an aide blamed budget cuts not indifference.
Veteran investigative reporter dies
Harold Dow, a CBS “48 Hours” investigative journalist I saw several times in Orange County criminal courtrooms over the years, died this weekend at the age of 62, according to multiple news outlets. Dow's accomplishments were numerous: landing the first Patty Hearst interview after her infamous kidnapping and repeating the feat with O.J. Simpson after the double LA murders.
Have county government retirees gotten a bad rap?
Nick Berardino, general manager of the union that represents county government workers, isn't pleased with the Register's editorial position that his flock should rely on 401K retirement plans instead of pensions. According to Berardino, the paper's “hyperbole and chest-pounding” has “failed its readers” with misinformation. He says that despite the image otherwise, “our average retiree collects an annual pension of under $29,000.” And he says switching to a 401K plan will aid only one group: “the Wall Street sharks who drove our economy off the cliff and who would stand to make hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars.”
Someone is going to get hurt
If you ever read the local political blogosphere, you probably know that the folks at TheLiberalOC.com and OrangeJuiceblog.com really, truly despise each other. The latest episode involves hostilities at a recent Santa Ana city council meeting. OJ blogger Sean H. Mill has his version of events HERE and the Lib boys offer their's HERE.
Corona del Mar: a slum
If you've got an extra $20 million under the bed, checkout the 10,900-square-foot ocean view Corona del Mar European-style chateau that's on the market. It's got eight bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, eight custom fireplaces, six-car garage, two offices, three game rooms, a 60-foot pool with a waterfall and the must-have gift wrapping room, according to Reg reporter Jeff Collins.
–R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly