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NEWS
By Bradley Zint | March 20, 2014
A man accused in a lawsuit of filing a false drunk-driving report against Costa Mesa Mayor Jim Righeimer asserted his 5th Amendment right not to testify throughout a three-hour deposition on Thursday, attorneys said. Private investigator Chris Lanzillo invoked the constitutional protection against self-incrimination more than 200 times, said attorney John Manly, who represents Righeimer and Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger in the civil action filed against Lanzillo; the law firm that employed him, Lackie, Dammeier, McGill & Ethir; and the Costa Mesa Police Assn.
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NEWS
By Jeremiah Dobruck | October 26, 2013
Costa Mesa's police association responded this month to a lawsuit filed by two councilmen alleging the union, its former law firm and a private investigator conspired to harass and intimidate them for political gain. Lawyers for the Costa Mesa Police Officers' Assn., called Mayor Jim Righeimer and Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger's accusations "an insult" and an attempt to muzzle critics of Costa Mesa's City Council majority led by Righeimer, according to copies of Orange County Superior Court filings reviewed by the Pilot.
NEWS
By Jeremiah Dobruck | August 20, 2013
Costa Mesa Mayor Jim Righeimer and Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger have sued the city's police officers association, alleging the group and two other defendants intimidated and harassed them for political gain. A civil action lawsuit filed Tuesday names the Costa Mesa Police Officers' Assn.; Upland-based law firm Lackie, Dammeier, McGill & Ethir; and Menifee private investigator Chris Lanzillo, alleging they intentionally inflicted emotional distress and violated civil rights, among 15 other complaints.
NEWS
By Jeremiah Dobruck | December 26, 2013
In a court filing last week, Costa Mesa's police union distanced itself from its former law firm by saying it wasn't involved in a plan that planted a GPS tracking device on a city councilman's truck. The Costa Mesa Police Officers' Assn., law firm Lackie, Dammeier, McGill & Ethir and private investigator Chris Lanzillo are co-defendants in an August lawsuit brought by Costa Mesa Mayor Jim Righeimer and Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger that accuses the trio of intimidation and harassment for political gain.
NEWS
July 11, 2005
Credit survey reports spending down in June Experian, a credit bureau based in Costa Mesa, and The Gallup Organization released survey results Wednesday that suggested consumer confidence took a dive during June. The Experian-Gallup poll features a Personal Credit Index that is calculated with factors including respondents' household debt, monthly payment burdens and credit scores. The survey reported an index of 79, the lowest result since the index was introduced in March with a baseline score of 100. In a release, Experian Interactive group president Ed Ojdana said people across the United States worry about being able to pay their monthly bills.
NEWS
By Bradley Zint | November 19, 2013
The Costa Mesa City Council on Tuesday rejected a request that the city pay the costs of fighting a lawsuit brought by two councilmen against the police union, its former law firm and a private investigator. The Costa Mesa Police Officers' Assn. had sought to use taxpayer money in its defense against the civil action filed in August by Mayor Jim Righeimer, his wife and Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger. The council vote was 3 to 0, City Attorney Tom Duarte said at the start of Tuesday's meeting.
NEWS
By Lauren Williams | February 21, 2013
Members of the association that represents Costa Mesa police officers said Thursday that they have been interviewed by district attorney investigators looking into a 911 call that falsely reported that a councilman was driving drunk. Private investigator Chris Lanzillo, the man who made the Aug. 22 call about now-Mayor Jim Righeimer, did freelance work for the law firm that represented the Costa Mesa Police Officers Assn.'s at the time, but it remains unclear for whom he was working when he followed Righeimer home from a sports bar and called dispatchers to tell them he thought the councilman was drunk.
NEWS
By Bradley Zint | January 18, 2014
In what Costa Mesa city officials are calling "modest increases" to staffing levels, the City Council on Tuesday will hear a proposal that could boost City Hall ranks by 12 positions. The annual payroll would increase $1.64 million. Four of the positions are for sworn police officers, who, in addition to supporting all the department's activities, will specifically help monitor early release prisoners, probationers, parolees and registered sex offenders living in Costa Mesa. If accepted by the council, the move would allow the police department to employ a maximum of 136 sworn officers, excluding the reserve force, an annual salary and benefits cost of $572,000.
NEWS
By Curt Honingford | April 13, 2012
I know my shortcomings. One of which is the inability to understand government — local to federal and everything in between. As a result, I never miss an opportunity to learn more about civics and politics. I've discovered if you look closely, lessons are everywhere. For instance, the Daily Pilot published a letter from Robert C. Hawkins ( "Don't limit citizen involvement at City Hall," April 8). Reading beyond the headline provides a crystal clear glimpse into the dark and dreary side of politics, on any level.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna | August 30, 2012
Orange County district attorney's office investigators showed up at Skosh Monahan's on Thursday to investigate the 911 call made last week about Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer. Councilman Gary Monahan, owner of the bar and restaurant on Newport Boulevard, confirmed the meeting. The D.A. subpoenaed the security video from Aug. 22, which was the night of the incident, Monahan said. Costa Mesa police referred any inquiries to the district attorney's office. A spokeswoman for the district attorney, Farrah Emami, declined to comment.
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