Profile image
By Freedom Bunker
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views

Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:

Costa Mesa Private Eye’s Guilty Plea Offers Hope for Accountability: New at Reason

Friday, October 14, 2016 6:47
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

A guilty plea in California offers hope.

Steven Greenhut writes:

Private detective Christopher Joseph Lanzillo, a former Riverside police officer, pleaded guilty last week (reversing his previous not-guilty plea) to four felony counts, including false imprisonment related to a 2012 scheme allegedly to set up City Councilman Jim Righeimer and Mayor Stephen Mensinger. A second detective, Scott Impola, awaits trial. He has pleaded not guilty to the same charges.

At the time, the Costa Mesa Police Association was involved in a nasty political battle with the City Council’s majority, which was trying to reform Costa Mesa’s overburdened pension system and outsource some public services. Righeimer and Mensinger were leaders of the reform movement. On Aug. 22, Righeimer had just spoken to a community meeting and then headed to a pub owned by another political ally, Councilman Gary Monahan.

Righeimer had a couple of diet sodas and drove home. After he got there, he said he received a knock on the door from a Costa Mesa police officer asking him to step outside for a DUI test. Righeimer, who wasn’t drunk, was detained for a while and released. According to prosecutors and news reports, the police response was sparked by a 911 call from Lanzillo. The call reportedly claimed Righeimer stumbled out of the bar and was “just swerving all over the road.” Surveillance video showed no such thing.

Lanzillo worked for a law firm that was then employed by the local police union. Prosecutors say Lanzillo was trying to catch the union’s political foes in an embarrassing situation. The scheme also included allegations of placing a GPS tracking device on Mensinger’s car. The Costa Mesa Police Association admits hiring the law firm that employed the private detectives to do “candidate research,” but adamantly denies knowing about any illegal behavior.

View this article.


We encourage you to Share our Reports, Analyses, Breaking News and Videos. Simply Click your Favorite Social Media Button and Share.

Report abuse


Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Top Stories
Recent Stories



Top Global


Top Alternative




Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.