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Robert Rialmo — ‘I just want the truth to come out’

Among the high-profile police misconduct lawsuits settled last year, the city of Chicago paid $16 million to the family of Bettie Jones, shot and killed by Officer Robert Rialmo (above) in December 2015. | Max Herman / Sun-Times

The Rialmo story . . .

Chicago Police Officer Robert Rialmo is not a man of many words.

At least that’s what it seemed like Wednesday afternoon during a short phone chat with Sneed during a brief break from his testimony in the wrongful-death lawsuit brought against him and the city by the estate of Quintonio LeGrier.

“Look, I’m doing OK. . . . I’m at peace,” said Rialmo, a former U.S. Marine, who responded — along with his partner Anthony LaPalermo — to a call of domestic disturbance at the LeGrier home in the 4700 block of West Erie St. the morning after Christmas Day.

OPINION

It was during those early morning hours, LeGrier and an innocent bystander, Bettie Jones, were shot and killed by Rialmo on December 26, 2015.

LeGrier, 19, was shot five times.

“I just want the truth to come out. That’s what I want. That’s all I want.

“My only regret is that Bettie Jones was killed,” he volunteered.

• Backshot: It’s been reported Jones, 55, the LeGriers’ downstairs neighbor, answered the door for officers Rialmo and LaPalermo, who had been summoned to the house by an anxious father warning his son had a bat.

• Buck shot: At issue in the wrongful-death suit is how close LeGrier was to Rialmo when the officer opened fire and whether he was swinging the bat at him when he was shot. Jones lived in the same building as LeGrier.

Rialmo testified Wednesday he felt “changed” after the shooting, which he considers an “injury.”

Divorced recently from his wife, Tara — Rialmo told Sneed he is sustained by having “my family nearby; we are close.”

Although Rialmo did not claim he needs any form of therapeutic relaxation, Sneed asked anyway.

“Well, I like to paint friends and landscapes . . . mostly the Schiller Woods scenery near where I live, and I play Jimi Hendrix loud and fast on my guitar.

“It helps,” he said. “It helps.”

Ka-ching!

Top $$$ tip!

It’s a first!

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas, the Energizer Bunny who does yoga, is adding zip to the property tax zap.

“We’ve decided to put the second installment of the property tax bill online TWO weeks early and putting it out before the printed bill goes out,” said Pappas.

“It will hit online Thursday to give a head start to what is expected to be a pre-payment frenzy,” she added.

“The second installment IS the important bill and it includes any tax increases and changes in assessment; the first bill is fifty-five percent of last year’s bill. Now we will put it online — and they can pay online!

“Not only can you go to the website and see your bill NOW well before the August 1 due date, but you can also pay it NOW,” she added.

(The bills will be at www.cookcountytreasurer.com)

Bob & Bill . . .

The Waukegan Warrior is heading home!

Powerhouse D.C. attorney Bob Barnett, the master of the book deal, hits town Thursday to interview former President Bill Clinton, who is pitching his new book “The President is Missing,” co-written with mega bookseller James Patterson, at the Auditorium Theatre.

The book has had the largest first-week hardcover fiction sales in two years.

Waukegan-bred with Washington cred, Barnett not only hangs out with the world’s powerful elite, but his claim to fame is not lame.

A powerful member of the Williams & Connolly law firm, Barnett’s list of clients include Barack Obama, Laura Bush, Bob Woodward, Dick Cheney, former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, Barbra Streisand, George Will, James Carville, Mary Matalin, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Queen Noor of Jordan, Prince Charles, Brian Williams, Lesley Stahl, Ann Curry, Sam Donaldson, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Brit Hume, Andrea Mitchell, the late Gwen Ifill, and David Gergen.

Barnett also played the role of former President George H. W. Bush in practice debates with Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, with Michael Dukakis in 1988, Clinton in 1992; assisted Hillary Rodham Clinton in 23 presidential primary debates in 2008 as well as Obama in 2008 and 2012.

We love Bob!

Sneedlings . . .

Chicago attorney Steve Elrod, who is now president of the Chicago Bar Association, is the son of the late, indomitable Richard J. Elrod, who served four terms at Cook County sheriff, was paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair when injured during the “Days of Rage” era decades ago, and went on to spend more than 25 years on the bench as a Cook County judge. . . . I spy: Cubbie legend Andre Dawson spotted at Gibsons in Rosemont recently. . . . Today’s birthdays: Prince William, 36; Lana Del Rey, 33; and Chris Pratt, 39.