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Community & Clubs: Turkeys and Eagles fly over Costa Mesa

November 20, 2012|By Jim de Boom | By Jim de Boom

A turkey, as defined by the fourth edition of the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language is "A large North American bird that has brownish plumage and a bare, wattled head and neck and is widely domesticated for food."

The slang definition for turkey from the same dictionary is "A person considered inept or undesirable." For the ninth year in a row, I deviate from the traditional Community & Clubs column format to present the Turkey Award, as well as the Eagle Award.

Let's review some Turkey history. Past recipients of the award included the confused Newport Beach political consultant Dave Ellis (2002); Armando Ruiz, the double-dipping Coast Community College District trustee (2004); Nativo Lopez, a member of the Santa Ana Unified school board and Costa Mesa City Council disrupter (2006); lawsuit-happy Allan Beek (2008); Great Park Hoax creator and Irvine City Council member Larry Agran (2009); Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his state budget tricks (2010); and Orange County Employees Assn. General Manager Nick Berardino, who tried almost everything in the union bible to attack and discredit the Costa Mesa City Council (2011).

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This year's Turkey of the Year nominations include a previous winner: Agran, who was defeated in his quest to become Irvine mayor in the Nov. 6 election. The new council majority, which he does not control, now wants to do a forensic audit of the Great Park finances.

Costa Mesa politician Jim Fitzpatrick is nominated for his constant blogs and letters to the editor, and for setting up a press conference in front of the Council Chamber scheduled at the same time as police Officer Jess Gilman's retirement celebration.

But the 2012 Turkey is Chris Lanzillo, a Menifee investigator and former Riverside police officer who worked for an unnamed client to gather dirt on Councilmen Gary Monahan and Steve Mensinger, who were both running for another council term.

Lanzillo also made a 911 call accusing Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer of driving drunk after Righeimer left Skosh Monahan's. The Orange County district attorney is investigating the P.I.

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Eagle Award

Blogger Geoff West suggested the Eagle Award in 2003 when he nominated current Costa Mesa Mayor Eric Bever, then a candidate for the Costa Mesa City Council.

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