The show of unity by dozens of Costa Mesa Police Assn. members, who packed the City Council Chambers Tuesday night, points to increasing political tension between Planning Commission Chairman Jim Righeimer and the police union.
Righeimer, a City Council candidate, is under fire from police for getting out of his car during a DUI checkpoint and arguing with officers over whether it made sense to screen for drunk drivers before an Estancia High School football game, slowing traffic to a snail's pace.
"It's pure politics," Righeimer said. "It's because of my position on pay and benefits."
During an Aug. 18 City Council forum debate, Righeimer repeatedly pointed his finger to the back of the room where representatives from the police and fire unions were present. Righeimer warned that the Police and Fire departments are watching carefully and are ready to bring down any candidate who stands in the way of their pension reform.