Jim Righeimer, Steve Mensinger, Costa Mesa Mayor and Councilman, v. Cop Union Lives!
File photo of Costa Mesa Mayor Jim Righeimer holding up a fire services proposal.
Photo by Chasen Marshall/OC Weekly
I don't know how many election cycles we'll have run through before it's all sorted out, but when it comes to the harassment case Costa Mesa's mayor and a councilman have against the city's police union, it's still game on, baby!
A ruling by Orange County Superior Court Judge Gail A. Andler last week clears the way for most of the original lawsuit brought by Mayor Jim Righeimer and Councilman Stephen Mensinger to proceed.
Andler also denied an anti-SLAPP motion by the Costa Mesa Police Association that would have killed the suit on protected political speech grounds.
Mensinger, Righeimer and his wife Lene claim in their complaint filed last August that the police union, its former law firm Lackie, Dammeier, McGill & Ethir of Upland and private investigator Chris Lanzillo conspired against the trio for political gain during the 2012 general election season.
The conspiracy the suit details includes the use of a GPS tracker to follow Mensinger and Righeimer, who was also subjected to a false drunken driving report called in to police--an incident that did not even pass the smell test with the union, which fired Lackie, Dammeier, McGill & Ethir after the stunt.
With Andler's blessing, the politicians can now move on to the evidence-gathering phase of the case, which includes taking depositions from the major players, including those no longer on the union payroll.
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