COSTA MESA — Thursday night's Feet to the Fire Forum, a candidates' debate organized by Orange County media, began with an issue right out of recent headlines: Planning Commissioner Jim Righeimer's decision to get out of his car during a DUI checkpoint and speak with officers over the wisdom of staging the screening on Harbor Boulevard during the evening rush-hour.
When Orange County Register columnist Frank Mickadeit asked Righeimer about whether he would seek a law banning DUI checkpoints at such hours, Righeimer took the opportunity to say that the tapes released from the Sept. 16 public disagreement exonerated him. The candidate sounds calm on the recordings.
Daily Pilot Editor John Canalis the quizzed Righeimer as to why he had his personal attorney send a letter threatening legal action against police union officials and a local blogger in hopes of stopping them from publicizing falsehoods about him.
The candidate said he was just trying to stop any misinformation getting out. Costa Mesa police are expected to campaign against him, due to his desire to trim retirement packages in the cash-strapped city.