Government Code Section 996.6 Does Not Permit Contractual Expansion of Defense Obligations.
Well, we know from the news about the City of Bell scandal. Former Chief Administrative Officer Rizzo brought a declaratory relief action to see if the City of Bell had to provide him a defense in City’s civil action restitution against him and certain pending criminal cases. (Media reports of October 4, 2013 reported that he plead guilty to 69 criminal counts.)
The appellate court determined no, no defense rights were owed to Mr. Rizzo. His employment agreement did not require a defense to be provided under the circumstances. Further, Government Code section 996.6, which would not allow for defense of the criminal cases, does not permit public entities to provide greater defense rights to public employees facing criminal prosecutions as a matter of contractual relationships.
This was decided in City of Bell v. Superior Court (Rizzo), Case No. B247362 (2d Dist., Div. 3 Oct. 4, 2013) (published).