Jim Righeimer, Others Sue Costa Mesa Police Union, Others Over DUI Sting Fiasco

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We obviously don't agree with Costa Mesa Mayor Jim Righeimer on most anything, especially his efforts to scald the city's public employees raw. But Riggy's harassment at the hands of a private dick employed by the law firm that represented the Costa Mesa Police Association (the cops' union) disgusted us enough to include said dick, Christopher Lanzillo, on our 2012 Scariest People issue. If you'll remember, Lanzillo tailed Righeimer from Skosh Monahan's to his home and called 911 to report Riggy drunk; the cops went to Riggy's home, made him take a sobriety test (he passed)...and all hell broke loose. Righeimer went to the press; the police union fired the law firm that employed Lanzillo (Lackie, Dammeier, McGill & Ethir); the law firm said they never asked Lanzillo to follow Righeimer; Lanzillo said he was just doing his duty...trying to entrap Costa Mesa councilmembers (and Skosh Monahan's owner) Gary Monahan and Steve Mensinger with a big-breasted woman. Um, okay...

Well, now Lanzillo's looking like the biggest boob of them all: Righeimer--along with his wife Lene and Mensinger--is suing Lanzillo, his P.I. business, Lackie, et al, and the Costa Mesa Police Association on 15--count 'em, 15--counts.

Filed in Orange County Superior Court, the lawsuit starts with the disclaimer that it's "neither about nor against the general rank and file police officers who diligently serve our communities in the face of grave danger, on a daily basis, whom plaintiffs respect and honor without reservation" but rather pointed at the "rogue defendants."

The counts are--let's all take a deep breath here--negligence, negligent hiring/training, negligent entrustment of agent, intentional infliction of emotional distress, civil conspiracy, unfair business practices filed by Riggy, his wife, and Mensinger against all defendants; violation of rights and intimidation filed by Jim and Mensinger against all defendants; malicious prosecution, invasion of privacy, libel and slander filed by Riggy against all defendants; assault and intrusion upon seclusion filed by Jim and Lena against all defendants. Everyone asks for injunctive relief against the defendants, and unspecified damages.

Adding more fun: the law firm representing the Righeimers and Mensinger is none other than Manly & Stewart, the home base for John Manly, the man who exposed the Diocese of Orange as the pedophile factory that it is, and doesn't file lawsuits unless he's absolutely certain it's a righteous cause. Manly has no love lost for GOP bigwigs--he famously hounded GOP lackey (and outer of sex-abuse victims) Matt Cunningham for being such a tool, and long trashed the party's leadership for being so close to the Orange diocese--so the partnership between Manly, Mensinger and the Righeimers ain't one of political convenience.

More--much more--to come...should be fun!

Email: garellano@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @gustavoarellano.

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