Judging by some of the reaction, you would have thought he had sprayed graffiti on the walls of the Orange County Performing Arts Center, proposed Costa Mesa become a sanctuary city, or streaked across the football field during halftime of an Estancia game (sorry for the disturbing vision for those who have laid eyes on Righeimer).
But Righeimer's actions on that fateful September evening should raise, at most, an eyebrow — and maybe a sympathetic chuckle from those of us who wish we had the nerve to speak the truth to authority gone astray.
After being stuck in rush-hour traffic exacerbated by the DUI checkpoint that began at 6 p.m. (apparently to get a jump on the happy hour drinkers), Righeimer got out of his car and told police officers it was "ridiculous" and "outrageous" to inconvenience thousands of motorists with a checkpoint right after most motorists were coming home from work.
He identified himself as a planning commissioner and demanded that a meeting be held the next day so this kind of traffic mess could be avoided. On a recently released audiotape recorded by the police, Righeimer spoke in measured tones and ended the conversation by telling one officer, "Not your fault, you're doing your job, I understand."
Since this isn't Fox News, let's concede what Righeimer should have done. He should have stayed in his car, drove home and — after a night's sleep and a cooler head — complained to the appropriate city officials about the wisdom of the checkpoint's location and timing.
I'm also not thrilled that Righeimer identified himself as a planning commissioner, but he told me this week he was merely trying to be transparent.