The forces allied for change in Costa Mesa prevailed in defeating Jim Righeimer’s dreadful Measure V – and they were able to elect former Costa Mesa Mayor Sandy Genis onto the City Council. But along the way it appears that lines were crossed – and now we must ask who knew what and who decided to engage in decidedly unethical behavior?
“A private investigator, Chris Lanzillo, hired to tail Costa Mesa Councilmen Gary Monahan and Steve Mensinger said he was sent to Monahan’s sports bar with a woman to see whether Monahan would behave inappropriately,” according to the Daily Pilot.
Lanzillo says, he was hired to get dirt not only on Monahan but on the other two City Council candidates who are trying to overhaul pensions and cut back on city government, Councilman Steve Mensinger and slate-mate Colin McCarthy. Who hired him, Lanzillo wouldn’t tell me. But I’m told the district attorney is looking into that, according to Frank Mickadeit, over at the O.C. Register.
Lanmzillo, “A private eye with connections to the law firm Lackie, Dammeier & McGill of Upland, Calif., which represents the Costa Mesa Police Officers Association and many others across the state, called 911 after visiting Monahan’s bar and reported Righeimer as a possible DUI, representing himself as a concerned citizen. The caller said Righeimer stumbled out of the bar even though surveillance cameras show no such thing. “He’s just swerving all over the road,” the caller stated,” according to Reason.
I agree with the editor of the Bubbling Cauldron blog, “If Lanzillo was, indeed, hired by someone or some organization to perform the kind of surveillance and entrapment described in Mickadeit’s column it, while perhaps not illegal, is despicable and unacceptable in the politics of our city. I hope the District Attorney or, as a friend suggested, the Grand Jury investigates this situation and gets to the bottom of it regardless where the investigation takes them.”
The irony of all this is that the dirty tricks backfired as Monahan and Mensinger got elected on Nov. 6. Sure, McCarthy lost, but Righeimer will continue to control the Council majority in Costa Mesa.
Had the good guys in this equation fought back cleanly against Righeimer and his associates it is likely that McCarthy would have been joined in defeat by either Mensinger or Monahan or both. Instead they all became martyrs and the unions in Costa Mesa now have a black eye.
That’s too bad as this was a fight worth fighting. The end however didn’t justify the means – not this time – not ever.
In related news, Costa Mesa’s pig of a Mayor, Eric Bever, who publicly announced his desire to close the Costa Mesa soup kitchens, in a horrific attack on the homeless, lost in his attempt to gain a seat on the Mesa Consolidated Water District, in Division 1. That’s karma for you Bever!