Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer “was given a sobriety test outside his home Wednesday evening after a caller told Costa Mesa police that the councilman had been driving recklessly,” according to the O.C. Register.
“I have no doubt in my mind that the labor unions that we’re fighting in this city are behind it,” Righeimer told ABC News.
Jennifer Muir, spokeswoman for the Orange County Employees Assn., and a former newspaper reporter, told the L.A. Times that “Righeimer was unjustified in pointing the finger at unions. “It’s absolutely not credible,” Muir said. “He has no reason to say this except to make a political point.”
But the caller identified himself to a police dispatcher as Chris Lanzillo, according to a tape of the call obtained Friday by the Daily Pilot using a state public records request. A Google search listed a “Chris Lanzillo” as a fired Riverside police officer and linked him to the Upland law firm of Lackie, Dammeier & McGill. The firm had represented the Costa Mesa Police Association until late this week, according to the O.C. Register.
Will Muir and the OCEA apologize for apparently slandering Righeimer?
Here is an accounting of the events that occured that night, which I received via email today. It is written by Phil Morello, an ally of Righeimer who is the Chairman of the Costa Mesa Redevelopment Commission. Morello’s accounting of the events that occured on Wednesday night are different from what was reported in mass media:
Police union PI is following Mayor Pro Tem Righeimer around town. He stops into Skosh Monahan’s Restaurant on Thursday afternoon. Drinks 2 diet cokes. Luckily Mr. Righeimer doesn’t drink booze. His wife is very religious.
Mr. Righeimer leaves Monahan’s, gets followed home by a Police Union private investigator. Union PI calls in a false 911 call that said Mr. Righeimer is speeding, drunk and swerving on road. PI ignores 911 advice and follows Mr. Righeimer to his home. Cops come to Mr. Righeimer’s home. Cops give Mr. Righeimer a field sobriety test in front of his kids. Mr. Righeimer and his wife confront the driver who speeds away.
No name given.
The 911 call was traced to former Riverside union cop turned PI who works for the same firm the CMPD uses to negotiate contracts.
The union tried to take him down. Someone will go to jail. It is all over LA news. This is scary stuff!
This is not the first time a council member has been intimidated. Council Member Gary Monahan had a brick put through his window.
Wow. Scary stuff. But it is not surprising. OC Weekly reporter Scott Moxley told me that when he was covering the disgraceful former O.C. Sheriff, Mike Carona, he once had a sniper target him, in his kitchen, with a laser scope. And Moxley was followed while driving, on more than one occassion.
When I went after the SAPD because their DUI checkpoints were unfairly targeting immigrants, an SAPD squad car parked on my street every night for a week as they tried to catch me doing a “California stop.” But I went home the other way after noticing them while walking my dog.
There are good cops out there but there are a lot of jerks too.
The people of Costa Mesa need to know that the overpaid cops that are supposed to serve them can no longer be trusted.
There will be a protest at the Costa Mesa police station on Fair Drive today at 1 pm. Don’t let thuggery and intimidation flourish in Costa Mesa!