By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
14. KIMBERLY NIZATO
Nizato is a Bellflower resident, but she earned the wrath of Orange County—even the country—when her emaciated German shepherd came to the attention of German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County. The dog was so starved that doctors say he ate dirt to survive. Nizato, a former vet assistant in Irvine, is awaiting trial in Norwalk Superior Court facing felony animal-cruelty charges. Renamed Courage by his new handlers, the pooch now lives with a Huntington Beach woman and spends his days eating, barking, pooping and sleeping. Good boy!
MITIGATING FACTOR: At least Nizato isn’t from Bell—that city has enough bad citizens as it is.
15. HEIDI MONTAG
Ten plastic surgeries in one day for the reality-show casualty? Sad. And also scary.
MITIGATING FACTOR: She has decided to reduce her breasts from a G cup to a modest D.
16. MATTHEW CASTANEDA
The Anaheim resident is a World Power Wrestling grappler who performs as “Chippy Sanchez,” a reference to the 34-year-old’s chipped front teeth. Chippy also apparently wrestles demons, as authorities have charged him with meeting, abducting and raping a 12-year-old Santa Ana girl he met on MySpace. Anaheim police arrested Castaneda on suspicion of lewd and lascivious behavior with a child under the age of 14; already on parole at the time of his arrest for a 2007 prior conviction for felony domestic violence and violating a restraining order, Castaneda could get 11 years in state prison if convicted.
MITIGATING FACTOR: At least someone still uses MySpace.
17. KEVIN MICHAEL SIANEZ
The former Santa Ana and Stanton police officer is standing trial for defrauding clients as an unlicensed private investigator, as well as posting ads on Craigslist seeking women to have sex with his Labrador retriever. The fake dick is also accused of being in possession of a firearm, a no-no for convicted felons, which Sianez currently is because the courts found him guilty in 1998 of stalking. If convicted, he faces 38 years in state prison.
MITIGATING FACTOR: At least Sianez wasn’t trying to set women up with a pit bull.
18. SJC AMERICANS
It takes quite the organization to protest a 9/11 commemoration in which an octogenarian veteran of the Battle of Okinawa received an award, but that’s exactly what this group did, claiming the celebration was un-American because the group running it was a nonprofit fronting as storm troopers for the Reconquista (or so they say). It was the SJC Americans’ latest salvo in San Juan Capistrano against anything Mexican—previous targets have included nonprofits that run after-school programs for at-risk youth, the Mexican consulate (for operating a pop-up office) and parking in the city’s barrios. Meanwhile, as actual dirty politics have blossomed in the city over sweetheart deals for gabacho-run nonprofits, the SJC Americans have remained silent.
MITIGATING FACTOR: At the end of each day, the SJC Americans have to live in San Juan Capistrano.
19. BETH KROM
It was a close contest, but Beth Krom beats out Red County blogger Matt Cunningham as Orange County’s most robotic political figure. We’ve waited nearly a decade for the city councilwoman/congressional candidate to just once show independence from her master, Irvine political boss Larry Agran, and we’re still waiting. Does she really agree with Agran’s positions on e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g? She has uttered some stupid lines on her own, too; a few months ago, she was still claiming Barack Obama’s 2008 electoral wave would carry her to victory in her campaign against incumbent Republican Congressman John Campbell.
MITIGATING FACTOR: In political circles, Krom’s breathlessly nasal oratory has earned her the nickname “Screech.”
20. JEANNE MANUNGA
Los Angeles always gets the credit for all the creepy criminals on the West Coast, but the truth is Orange County routinely produces better weirdness. Take the case of Manunga. Three times, the 25-year-old Santa Ana woman got police to arrest and jail another woman connected to her ex-boyfriend. The alleged crime? Sending hundreds of threatening text messages. Police eventually figured out Manunga had bought a pre-paid cell phone in the other lady’s name, sent herself the threats using that phone and, on 19 occasions, filed police reports against the innocent woman. As a result, she won a year-long trip to the county slammer and was order to pay the victim $50,000 in restitution.
MITIGATING FACTOR: Her tired thumbs will finally get a rest.
21. ROBERT BRUCHMANN
It’s generally accepted that South County gets the Spanish names on its cities and streets, while North County gets the actual people with Spanish names. But South County’s end of the bargain doesn’t sit well with Bruchmann, a Mission Viejo planning commissioner. After Lennar announced it was renaming a batch of streets in one of its new housing developments, Bruchmann wrote a letter to the Mission Viejo Dispatch blog saying he preferred English names over those en español “mainly because I can pronounce them.” After suggesting Lennar name a street after Ronald Reagan, he also stated, “We need to remember this is an American city in America populated by Americans. Isn’t it time we started being proud of our American heritage?”
MITIGATING FACTOR: If you get past his bigotry, Bruchmann’s critique of South County’s fantasy Spanish heritage is spot-on.