In Costa Mesa, it’s “Blame the Unions” No Matter What Happens

Councilman Steve Mensinger (Appointed) - Costa Mesa, Photo: Chris Prevatt

Councilman Steve Mensinger (Appointed) – Costa Mesa, Photo: Chris Prevatt

Costa Mesa council member Steve Mensinger’s lawsuit against the Costa Mesa Police Officer’s Association and its defunct law firm of Lackie, Dammeir, McGill and Ethir was amended last week with a claim that one of the defendants placed a GPS tracking device on Mensinger’s vehicle — a claim the defendant’s deny and one impossible for Mensinger to prove.

We contacted the Orange County District Attorney’s office and Susan Kang Schroeder could not comment on the case when we asked if there was any evidence that linked the device to the unions, their law firm or the firm’s PI, Chris Lanzillo.

The Daily Pilot reports:

Someone allegedly placed a GPS monitor on the undercarriage of Councilman Steve Mensinger’s truck — frequently charging or downloading data from it — and used it to follow his whereabouts until August 2012, according to allegations found in documents filed in Orange County Superior Court.

When the device was allegedly attached and detached isn’t clear

The pair say the three entities conspired to intimidate and harass them for political gain.

The complaint points to a playbook posted on Lackie, Dammeier, McGill & Ethir’s website laying out aggressive tactics for police union contract negotiations including a passage suggesting, “The association should be like a quiet giant in the position of, ‘do as I ask and don’t piss me off.'”

The law firm and Costa Mesa’s police association have denied any wrongdoing.

Det. Sgt. Ed Everett, the police association’s president, said his organization had no knowledge of the alleged tactics like GPS tracking.

“That is unfortunate, if it happened, and I can say the association was not involved with it,” he said Wednesday. “It is interesting that was not included in the original complaint.”

Mensinger previously complained that his truck was vandalized in 2011 but never filed a police report on the damage.

Mensinger posted this comment on his Facebook page after that incident: “On a sad note of story that will not appear in the L.A. Times, our family was visited by a group of union supporters sometime last night,” Mensinger wrote in a status update. “After they put a ‘Cancel the layoff’ sign in my yard they applied paint to my car and proceeded over to the Pop Warner bins where they scribbled the words ‘KKK’ along with an assortment of other painted designs.”

Note to Mensinger, file a police report and it’s get covered in the local paper especially if its an elected official. Unless of course, filing said police report is false.  That’s a crime.

According to sources, the GPS device was one that required frequent recharging and data downloaded regularly.  So anyone seeking to use the data on the device would need regular access to Mesinger’s vehicle in a manner that wouldn’t attract attention from the council member’s neighbors.   Its entirely possible Mensinger could have bought the device himself as part of the “blame the unions” strategy.  The best joke of the day is that the device was allegedly placed on the councilman’s truck by his wife to track his travels. Only the person who bought the device and placed in on the truck knows who and why.

Regardless of who placed the device on the vehicle, the council majority in Costa Mesa seems to see the unions as a bogeyman in anything that happens to them.  Isn’t it about time the accusations of intimidation absent proof stopped?

  3 comments for “In Costa Mesa, it’s “Blame the Unions” No Matter What Happens

    November 18, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    He should do like they do in Santa Ana, just take the police unions money (free rent and dinners) and then there is NO PROBLEMO! Plus, maybe they’ll help you unseat the populary elected (but politically despised) mayor!

  2. Greg
    December 5, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    When Steve and Jim prove in Court that the union thugs are responsible for the GPS, I can’t wait for your apology. Oh wait, you don’t care what the union thugs do. If you did, when you were accusing Steve of failing to file a police report because it was false, you would have mentioned that the investigator for the police unions did make a false police report that Jim was driving drunk. Don’t worry, I don’t expect the facts to factor into your slanted stories.

  3. December 6, 2013 at 8:20 am

    Greg — it appears the only people who have this information would be “Steve and Jim.” The DA’s office won’t confirm anything. Mensinger should have filed a police report when his truck was vandalized; I believe that helps if you use insurance to clean up or repair the damage.

    The investigator in the case called in a “drunk driver” and that’s not the same as filing a police report. The police investigated and determined Mr. Righeimer was not impaired. I’ll called in a few erratic drivers myself and you can never tell if it’s because their impaired or if their texting and driving.

    If the GPS is traced back to the unions in court, we’ll be pleased to report it. But absent independent confirmation, it’s just another accusation.

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