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. ALBERT PUJOLS
The Angels' $254 million man struggled early in his 10-year contract, batting .217 with no home runs and four RBIs in April, and failing to hit his first home run until May 6 to cap the longest long-ball drought of his career (139 at bats). It was ultimately a blip: Albert Pujols was hot the rest of May; won his first American League Player of the Week honor for July 30 to Aug. 5; and finished the season with a respectable .286 batting average, 173 hits, 50 doubles, 30 home runs, 105 RBI and 85 runs scored. But this represented the third straight season in which Pujols' homer and runs scored total dropped, the fourth such season for his batting average. Worse, the Halos finished third in the American League West and missed the playoffs. ESPN's Peter Gammons called the disappointing season the biggest story in baseball this year, and he and many others have laid the blame at the feet of "El Hombre." Mitigating factor: Two words—Mike Trout.
15. CHRISTOPHER LANZILLO
The Menifee private investigator, who has worked for a law firm that aggressively represents police unions seeking generous public contracts, spied on Costa Mesa City Councilman Jim Righeimer—bane of public-employee unions—at Skosh Monahan's in August. Christopher Lanzillo, a former Riverside police detective, tailed Righeimer driving home and called 911 to report him for alleged drunk driving. Thanks to the call, police ordered the councilman out of his house and made him perform sobriety tests in front of family and neighbors, passing without question because receipts proved he sipped only Diet Cokes at the bar. In the aftermath, Lanzillo absurdly claimed he didn't fabricate the reckless-driving tale, he didn't know the identity of the person he tailed and his actions had nothing to do with Righeimer's willingness to play hardball with police unions in contract negotiations. Mitigating factor: Lanzillo proved the adage that once an asshole cop, always an asshole cop.
16. JENNIFER TAMARA MCCLAIN
Look, we're all for love—especially wild, kinky stuff. So Jennifer Tamara McClain is our kind of woman: She knows what she wants and when she wants it and is willing to toss convention out the window. Deputy McClain repeatedly had sex—good, hot, passionate sex—with an inmate in an Orange County jail. For that feat alone, she would have made our Scariest list. But one of McClain's sex partners was Christopher Roger Brown, an incarcerated white supremacist; McClain is black. McClain found herself arrested because inmate-deputy sex is prohibited, but local prosecutors, obviously ones hoping to get locked inside the jail someday, have so far declined to file criminal charges. Mitigating factor: Who said race relations haven't improved under President Barack Obama?
17. DISNEYLAND FIREWORKS
Philosophers and holy men have long argued that turning a blind eye to injustice is morally wrong. But somehow, that doesn't seem to apply to Disneyland and its nightly fireworks, which resemble Baghdad in the spring of 2003. Even when Anaheim cops beat and harassed protesters and journalists during summer riots, the show went on. Even when parts of the city burned, a manifestation of deep-seated tensions (some of which is related to Disney receiving favoritism from city officials), the show went on. Even as Disney continues to spend thousands of dollars per showing while residents express frustration over increasing poverty and violence, the show goes on. Surprising? No. Greatest moment in Orange County history when police and rioters clashed near City Hall, and the fireworks went boom? HELL YA! Mitigating factor: Anaheim residents are now awake.
18. CARLOS BUSTAMANTE
The Santa Ana councilman was once pegged as the GOP's Great Brown Hope—but that was before Carlos Bustamante exposed himself as a pervert. His rising star fell to earth in 2008 after he cracked a crude joke about just-appointed Sheriff Sandra Hutchens in front of a Los Angeles Times reporter; that fuckup cost him seats on state boards. But his latest screwup might cost Busty his freedom: This summer, the district attorney's office arrested him on multiple felony charges, alleging he sexually harassed, groped, stalked and wrongfully imprisoned female workers in his capacity as a county public-works executive. Mitigating factor: Carlos isn't even the biggest asshole in his family; his twin, Alfonso, drives around Santa Ana in a Bentley and is facing his own sexy allegations.
20. JOANNE BUSCH
For five days in 2004 Prince Edward Maryland tortured, raped and sodomized his wife in her Lake Forest home, nearly beating her to death. Maryland—an unapologetic, vicious serial woman abuser and drug addict—was sentenced to more than 140 years in prison for his horrific crimes. Skip ahead to this year, when we found the still-unapologetic inmate publishing job ads luring women to send him résumés and raising money online for himself under the pretence of anti-domestic violence charities. As we prepared to inform the public of the con game, Joanne Busch, a UCLA nurse who was aiding Maryland, angrily threatened to sue us for interfering with Maryland's desire to "stop domestic violence before it starts." Mitigating factor: Maryland will never, ever leave prison alive to beat the hell out of another woman.
21. KATHERINE DAIGLE
She doesn't make our scary list for being a Republican decoy placed on the Irvine ballot by Larry Agran's slimy Democrat machine to split GOP votes with Steven Choi and ensure Agran's win in the mayoral race. Katherine Daigle wouldn't have made the list even for pretending that she—an unknown person with no political experience and no campaign money—is a legitimate candidate with expectations of winning. She is frightening because when asked at a public forum how she would improve public education, Daigle thought she was being asked to pick sides: education good vs. education bad. She is, she enthusiastically assured the audience during a rambling answer, pro-education. Whew! Mitigating factor: After she sabotages Choi for Agran on Nov. 6, Daigle will disappear back into obscurity.