Steve Mensinger, Costa Mesa Councilman, Was Fine Revealing Cop Union GPS Snooping: Judge

Categories: Costa Messy, Court

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Mensinger
An Orange County Superior Court judge recently refused to hold Costa Mesa City Councilman Steve Mensinger in contempt of court for revealing someone placed a GPS tracking device on his truck.

Judge David Hoffer on Dec. 13 denied the contempt motion by the Costa Mesa Police Officers' Association, which claimed the disclosure by Mensinger and his attorneys violated a court order. One problem: that order applied to a criminal case, not Mensinger's civil suit.

Mensinger and his lawyers Vince Finaldi and John Manly announced at a November news conference that they would add the GPS allegation to the harassment lawsuit the councilman and his political ally Mayor Jim Righeimer brought against the police association, its former law firm Lackie, Dammeier McGill & Ethir and private investigator Chris Lanzillo, the Mexican-in-Chief reported at the time.

Claim: Costa Mesa Councilman Steve Mensinger Tracked by Political Enemies with GPS Device

The most damning allegation in the suit was Lanzillo trying to get Righeimer arrested for drunken driving by Costa Mesa police officers who belong to the very same association. The thuggish tactics prompted criminal investigations of the cop union, the law firm and Lanzillo by the county grand jury and district attorney's office.

The bad blood between the cop union and Righeimer and Mensinger, who have been critical of the police department and efforts to protect lucrative lifetime pensions for cops, extends back to the 2012 election season, which is also when the GPS device was attached to the councilman's vehicle. Mensinger only learned about it this past November, when DA investigators told the councilman about it in an interview tied to the criminal probe.

The association's grounds for what turned out to be an unsuccessful court motion was the GPS surveillance had been uncovered in two search warrants served as part of that criminal probe and later sealed by court order. But Manly and Finaldi are pursuing their suit in civil court, and then they informed Hoffer they were neither aware of or subject to the court order. So the judge tossed the contempt motion.

Ed Everett, the Costa Mesa Police Officers' Association president, reportedly told the Daily Pilot that Mensinger and Righeimer are trying to smear cops in their city and are willing to air evidence from an ongoing grand jury investigation to do so.

The Costa Mesa-based newspaper also heard from DA officials who maintained they did nothing improper informing Mensinger of the GPS surveillance.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!



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21 comments
18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

I repeat the question:

Has the Orange County DA's office known since the 90's that it's police and Sheriffs departments use tracking technology to harm US born American citizen's in same County?

AKA one of the many reasons this surveillance state is more dangerous to Americans than any terror threat. We are basically giving Bin Laden exactly what he wanted - apparently this psychopath understood that there would be enough people in the US who would gladly sacrifice the US constitution for profit.

Rich Ezeikiel
Rich Ezeikiel

Thug Police and their GPS's coming to a car near you. FTP

Gerardo Robles
Gerardo Robles

Fuck the police and the law. Anarchy shall become effective soon

Newport Beat
Newport Beat

Shame on CM Police and Police unions! They must protect the people in their community, not their own interests by deplorable strong-arm tactics. On which side of the law do they think they are? Above?

tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

Next Headline: Righeimer to end tenure as Mayor of Costa Mesa, boy would I live/love to see that one.

 "The City of Costa Mesa is mathematically bankrupt, there is no job creation going on here". - Mayor Jim Righeimer

tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

"The Costa Mesa-based newspaper also heard from DA officials who maintained they did nothing improper informing Mensinger of the GPS surveillance".

How did the DA's office find out there was a GPS device on Mensinger's truck?

tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

Righeimer is a rich real estate person and he is hated by certain police officers. Righeimer is a union hater and he bought the office, the citizens did not vote him in.

He LOST his bid for the Charter last year by 100 to 1.

The police unions are laughing at him and his frivilous lawsuits. If I were a judge I'd say CASE DISMISSED just to see him lose because I don't want to hear it coming from him or Mensinger because they have cost and lost people thier jobs. Look at how many LOCAL businesses have been closed because of them.

paullucas714
paullucas714 topcommenter

How bold does one have to be to make such a motion? This sense of infallibility is a real problem with police officers and their enablers. Its an ongoing problem that is getting worse and will only get worse til we do away with POBRA due to its threat to public safety.

Rustupid-2
Rustupid-2

How can anyone smear the Costa Mesa police union? They have done this all on their own.

tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

Has the Orange County DA's office known since the 90's that it's police and Sheriffs departments use tracking technology to harm US born American citizen's in same County?

So what difference does it make if they're tracking you or not you were born here and it shouldn't make a whit's difference to them. The cops are the terrorists. Attempting to bring you up on trumped up charges.

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

Considering that the police (until a recent and very low key Supreme Court decision) did not require a warrant to attach a GPS device on one's vehicle, it's a very good question? How did this DA find out about this device?

And has the Orange County DA's office known since the 90's that it's police and Sheriffs departments use tracking technology to harm US born American citizen's in same County?

ltpar
ltpar topcommenter

@tongue_twister_for_t Larry, Moe and Curly aka The Three Stooges are simply run of the mill political hacks who are here today and gone tomorrow.  They follow a long line of undesirable and corrupt elected officials in Costa Mesa City Government.  While in office they are quick to seize control, screw the employees, then leave their mess for someone else to clean up.  Hopefully, 2014 will be the Year of Enlightened Voters in Costa Mesa and they will send the Stooges back to making B Grade movies.  

RonaldMexico
RonaldMexico

@tongue_twister_for_tPolice don't like people, they hold grudges is that what you are saying? They are a petty spiteful children who don't like people who have the gall to question them or start spouting some BS rights blah blah Constitution blah blah crapola?


Fascinating stuff... what patriots they are, that oath means nothing I guess - not surprised.

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

Mayor Righeimer's allegations are textbook examples of the sorts of behavior engaged by the Orange County Mafia police. And it wouldn't just be Costa Mesa. And I wouldn't be surprised if the Anaheim and/or the Garden Grove police departments are the ones who wrote the book.

Harassment using GPS - textboook

Framing people often using confidential informants and fake 911 calls - textbook

Petty retribution while hiding behind the color of authority - textbook

The only thing missing is these imbeciles just walking up and down Harbor or Euclid streets with clubs threatening to break kneecaps if you don't pay up.

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

He was actually in transit through Russia when his American passport was cancelled. The " Snowden defected to Russia" meme is more "men of law and integrity" bullshit.

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

Agreed! POBRA has helped turn California cops into above the law sociopaths.

tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

Pay with what there aren't any job or money?

1600 people applied for 36 jobs at an Ice Cream factory in Wisconsin last week.

Over 100 New York police officers were busted for scamming the Social Security Administration for mental disabilities that they did not have even while working other jobs.

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