[UPDATED: Two Other Brutality Lawsuits Filed Against Lodge] Steve Lodge: Anaheim Council Candidate, Named in Multiple Police Brutality Lawsuits as Baton-Happy Cop

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Lodge: May that shit-eating grin be turned upside down
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ORIGINAL POST, SEPTEMBER 3, 10:18 P.M.: Later today, in an Orange County Superior Court courtroom, Anaheim City Council candidate Steve Lodge is going to face off against longtime Anaheim activist Cynthia Ward over whether Lodge can use his paternal birth name "Chavez" on his ballot designation. I'm not going to be able to make it this afternoon to Central Court, which sucks because I certainly hope Ward wipes that shit-eating grin off Lodge's face for good. Go, Cynthia!

(Quick aside: you know who Esteban looks like? Steve Newlin, that crazy minister-turned-gay vampire in True Blood. Resemblance is EERIE...)
 
I will be at Central Court, though, digging up old court cases that will probably prove what's already true: that during a career as a SanTana police officer, a career that Lodge is running on as proof that he's worthy of representing a city in which he's lived all of a bit more than a year, Lodge was a dirty cop.

The dirty cop label ain't the charges of anti-police "radicals" that Lodge loves to disparage on his Facebook account (the one with the URL "stevenalodge" but labeled "Steven Chavez Lodge") but rather pronouncements of the Santa Ana Police Department and a federal jury.

Let's take the first one first. In 1993, SanTana bar owner Elba Freeman sued the SanTana Police Department in federal court because she alleged that officers harassed her, her bar, and her patrons after she filed a complaint against an officer. The cop in question? Lodge. Freeman (who's still a bar owner in the city) said that in 1985, Lodge "pushed her and used foul language during a routine bar check," according to a Los Angeles Times account, which also noted Lodge "served a four-hour suspension for the incident."

BUSTED. But Freeman ended up losing her case, along with an appeal to the U.S. Ninth District Court of Appeals. Lodge wasn't as lucky, however, with a case involving a jaywalking Iranian immigrant that made national headlines.

In 1990, Hossein Farahani sued Lodge in U.S. federal court alleging police brutality. Farahani had jaywalked across Fourth Street in SanTana, much to Lodge's irritation. He turned on the siren; Farahani ran and tried to hide behind a wall. And the rest is horrifying. From an Orange County Register story at the time:

When Farahani realized that Lodge saw him in his hiding place, [Farahani's lawyer] told the jury, he stood and walked toward Lodge, making gestures of surrender. 

Then the trouble began, [the lawyer] said, beginning with Lodge ordering Farahani to put his hands on a nearby car for a search, but then throwing him to the ground.  As Farahani raised an arm to show Lodge some identification, [the lawyer] said, the police officer grabbed the arm and dropped to his knees on Farahani's back. 

He handcuffed Farahani tightly and, when Farahani tried to turn his head to look back at Lodge, clubbed him with his baton, [Farahani's lawyer] told the jury.  Another officer, Joe Perez, arrived a few moments later and kicked Farahani.

Farahani suffered a ruptured disc and a wound from the baton that required eight stitches.

Lodge's excuse for the beating? Farahani resisted. Oh, and he never hit him with a baton. That owie on Farahani's head, the one a pathologist said under oath probably came from a baton? Just got there. PATHETIC!

Thankfully, a jury didn't agree with Lodge, and found in Farahani's favor, rewarding him a whopping $612,000 settlement. "People laugh when I say for jaywalking they beat me up," Farahani told reporters after the verdict. "It's not funny. Everybody can be beaten by them. They are dangerous."

Lodge and his attorney vowed to appeal, but that didn't happen--instead, they settled with Farahani for $292,000 and dropped the appeal.

These aren't the only lawsuits filed against Lodge alleging excessive force--two others were filed against him in the 1990s. We're checking on those cases as you read this and will update the post once we've learned more--in the meanwhile, spread the word: Anaheim council candidate Steve Lodge is a dirty cop who's the last person deserving of leading the city during these fraught times.

Oh, and in all these lawsuits? Lodge is referred to as "Steven Lodge," NOT "Steven Chavez Lodge." Pinche pendejo...

UPDATE, Sept. 4, 3:24 P.M.: Well, as James Brown sang so long ago, ain't that a groove.

Two other lawsuits alleging police brutality by Lodge were filed during the 1990s--in 1991, and 1997. And no records of them exist other than than the Register of Actions listed on the Orange County Superior Court website. Workers there say both of the cases were destroyed; calls to one attorney found the same; the other is dead.

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15 comments
noangelhere
noangelhere

anangleafterall has a real name. It is Steve Lodge's employer and now former sister-in-law (as of this year) Ann Richter.

noangelhere
noangelhere

anangleafterall has a real name. It is Steve Lodge's employer and (as of this year) former sister-in-law Ann Richter.

LaundomatViewer
LaundomatViewer

Maybe those here with more courtroom experience can fill me in, but has it become accepted legal practice (or OC's closest excuse) that cases can be decided on (attorney-prompted) suddenly unrepressed memories by the JUDGE, without a shred of supporting documentation requested, or produced? In bad cop movies, this is usually accompanied by a 'golden handshake' in the hall afterwards, and there is nothing so far evident to indicate that life here imitates art, but why is the majority of blog speculation on how the plaintiff paid her attorney, and NONE on the remarkable circumstance of an 11-th hour judicial ephiphany?? What am I missing here? Certainly not a sense of smell!

TheWorld
TheWorld

Hey Anaheim,

You're supposed to run GOOD candidates when your police force is that fucked up. Not smarmy, fake-Latino, carpetbagging, police brutality-loving assholes.

 

cynthia241
cynthia241

So the BIG question now is, if my attorney found this info, and if Gustavo appears to have uncovered 2 more potential cases, how did the "masters of the universe" not know this before hanging their hopes on him? Power brokers do more opposition research on their own people than on the "other guy" in order to avoid these nasty surprises. Look at Lodge's long list of supporters, he is backed by the power elite of Anaheim/OC. Are you telling me that supporters of this caliber, with the extensive resources they have available, did no background checks before going to bat for him and raising major bucks? Just how far are these people willing to go to maintain their majority voting block and prevent Mayor Tait from cleaning up City Hall? 

pedro_lopez151
pedro_lopez151

Estaban Chavez must be one of those white mexicans you hear so much about.

 

Is SanTana a city in Venezuela? 

etta_mae
etta_mae

 @TheWorld How is he a fake Latino when his birth name is Chavez?

 

Don't let facts get in your way now...

anangelafterall
anangelafterall

 @cynthia241

 I think that Steve Chavez Lodge should be able to express his full name. I understand what these cases are regarding and as most of you know, sometime there is frivolous lawsuits filed against police officers all the time. It's interesting to me that this story is one sided. If you look into the actual unbias public record. This man that was jaywalking ran from a police officer. If that was me, I would be concerned with my well being and I would put him up against a car and if he made a move that was not innocent, I would put him on the ground. When cops don't react quickly they are usually dead within seconds. Just saying.......

 

Moreover, most police officers have lawsuits against them at some point of their carreer because criminals try to put the spot light on the cop so they take the spot light off of themselves. Again, just saying......

 

Steve Chavez Lodge is a good guy that deserves a chance to give Anahiem back to the citizens and away from the gangs. Give him a chance and look at the whole person, not two lawsuits, one being without merit and the other, well I have my own opinion on that ruling.....

noangelhere
noangelhere

Her name is Ann Richter - she is Steve's sister-in-law and employer at Hill International. Her current email is: annemrichter@aol.com. Her Cell # is 856-803-8452

cynthia241
cynthia241

 @anangelafterall 

Nobody denied Lodge the ability to use his full name...when he carpetbagged into Anaheim in the first place. Had he used both names from the beginning, there would be no issue. Instead he signed his name as Chavez Lodge for the first time on ANY candidate documents on August 8th. That is a long time to wait to add your "real" name to documents. You may recall August 8th as important, it was the City Council meeting when they discussed splitting the city into districts because the ACLU says there are not enough Latinos on the Council. But I am sure he is not Hispandering, it is merely a coincidence that he chose THAT date to reclaim his Latino heritage on campaign documents.

 

As far as Lodge being a "good guy who deserves a chance" his immediate, personally negative attacks on me the second this issue hit tells me all i need to know about the "good guy" he is. Today, the case before ours was another legal challenge of a ballot statement in RSM. There was nearly no press on that case, even though one candidate has used their ballot statement to disparage other candidates, in violation of election code. If ever a suit stood to be ugly it should have been that one but it didn't, because the candidates did not sink to that level. In Anaheim an otherwise routine ballot challenge became national news, because Lodge made it news by sending out horrid email blasts and facebook posts, questioning my character. 

 

You ask us to look at an unbiased record of the jaywalking case. Well Gustavo Arellano did not write the LA Times article recapping that a jury awarded the jaywalker HALF A MILLION DOLLARS in punitive damages in addition to his compensatory damages. I would say a jury award is a pretty unbiased record, wouldn't you? Cities sometimes will quietly settle a case even when there is no guilt just as an accounting deal, it is cheaper to settle than fight. But when punitive damages of that size are awarded, you get the feeling the court was perhaps sending a message, and the message I get is that your friend Steve does not appear to be the "good guy" you think he is. 

 

Sorry, not drinking that brand of KoolAid. 

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

 @anangelafterall  Wow, justifying the beatdown of an immigrant AND the breaking of electoral law? Talk about pathetic...and call him Steve Lodge like everyone else does...

jasongarneryoung
jasongarneryoung

 @anangelafterall  

 

There are more then just these two incidents of excessive force. This guy is simply a puppet for Disney/Pringle who will continue the massive corporate giveaways that have robbed the residents of vital revenue.

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young

 @jasongarneryoung  @anangelafterall They need that revenue because they don't produce enough value added to make up for their presence here.

 

Somehow Disney/Anaheim made it into and through the 1980s relying on mostly local, native-born, anglo labor. Mexicanification led to Mexican-style finances.

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