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NEWS
By Jeremiah Dobruck | December 11, 2013
A local businessman who was paid tens of thousands of dollars by Costa Mesa to act as a consultant during the city's 60th anniversary celebration is suspected of participating in a Ponzi scheme that cheated a Newport Beach man out of millions, according to a lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Roland Barrera of Costa Mesa allegedly worked as a salesman in an investment scam run out of Austin, Texas, that collected almost $18 million from at least 80 clients who were promised generous returns from oil and gas securities.
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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 Emily Foxhall | October 28, 2013
Newport Beach and an advocacy group have reached a settlement agreement in a lawsuit related to rehabilitation home operator Morningside Recovery, the two entities announced Monday. Under the agreement, which comes after years of discussion and litigation, the city must pay Maintain Our Residential Neighborhoods, or MORN, $60,000. MORN entered into legal action against the city in February 2011, arguing that a 2010 zoning agreement allowing rehabilitation home operator Morningside Recovery to operate in residential areas was invalid.
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 | October 16, 2013
A Costa Mesa man has sued the Newport Beach Police Department, alleging that a police dog mauled him after officers released the animal near a garage where the claimant was sleeping. Usyel Ocampo Roman, 34, seeks yet-to-be-determined damages and payment to cover medical bills and other expenses related to the incident. A lawyer for Ocampo Roman filed the complaint in Orange County Superior Court on Oct. 10. Ocampo Roman was asleep in his friend's garage on Coolidge Avenue in Costa Mesa when Newport Beach police were assisting in a search for suspects nearby about 3 a.m. March 17, according to the lawsuit.
NEWS
By Bradley Zint | October 8, 2013
An Orange County Superior Court jury has rejected the Costa Mesa Visitor and Conference Bureau's $5.1-million lawsuit against an Irvine-based marketing firm, according to court records. The bureau alleged a breach of contract in the July 2012 lawsuit, saying HyperDisk Marketing billed the bureau for services that it didn't perform, such as website design, marketing and consulting. It sought to recover $100,000 for the services and $5 million in punitive damages. The jury issued its ruling Oct. 3, according to court records.
NEWS
By Bradley Zint | October 7, 2013
The Costa Mesa City Council met Monday to discuss whether to pursue a lawsuit to prevent toll roads on the 405 Freeway, a proposal that was met with stiff opposition from area cities last year. Though there was no public report from the closed-session meeting, officials said the council weighed its options and will hear more from the city attorney's office in the coming days. Last year, representatives from Costa Mesa and five other cities - Fountain Valley, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, Westminster and Huntington Beach - opposed a $1.7-billion plan that would have added a toll lane and general-purpose lane in each direction between the 605 Freeway outside Rossmoor and the 73 Freeway in Costa Mesa.
NEWS
By Hannah Fry | October 4, 2013
The Costa Mesa City Council this week repealed a law that banned day laborers from actively soliciting work on city streets. The council unanimously agreed Tuesday night to scrap the ordinance without discussion. Costa Mesa's anti-solicitation law, which was passed in 2005, prohibited job-seekers from attracting drivers' attention by waving arms, making hand signals, shouting, jumping up and down, and waving signs. The law also rendered it illegal for a driver to hire someone standing in the street.
NEWS
By Adolfo Flores | October 3, 2013
A former parking control officer said he was fired from the Newport Beach Police Department for reporting that senior officers were receiving free suites, spa days and alcohol from a high-end hotel in exchange for favors, according to a federal lawsuit. In his suit, Zachary McEligot alleged that the Island Hotel in Newport Center near Fashion Island would give officers freebies worth thousands of dollars in exchange for easing the license process for massage therapists and turning a blind eye to parking violations.
NEWS
By Hannah Fry | September 28, 2013
A former Killybrooke Elementary School teacher is suing the school district for alleged workplace harassment and age discrimination, court records show. Debbra DeMarco filed a lawsuit Sept. 4 in Orange County Superior Court against the Newport-Mesa School District and Killybrooke Principal Lorie Hoggard. DeMarco, who was 43 years old at the time of the alleged harassment, claims the district forced her to quit because of her advancing age and because she was more expensive to keep on staff than a younger teacher.
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