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Costa Mesa Police Union Private Investigators Arrested for Tactics Used Targeting Righeimer/Mensinger

Posted by Scott Carpenter on December 11, 2014

The latest in the ongoing saga surrounding the Costa Mesa Police Union targeting Councilmembers Righeimer and Mensinger has resulted in the arrest and pending prosecution of the private investigators who conspired against the Councilmen. Today District Attorney Tony Rackauckas sent the following release announcing the criminal charges. Recent headlines have seen the union call Righeimer’s lawsuit against the firm “political” well now it appears their action were not only abusive but potentially criminal.

Date: December 11, 2014

TWO PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS WORKING FOR POLICE UNION LAW FIRM ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH CONSPIRING TO COMMIT CRIMES AGAINST COSTA MESA COUNCILMEN AND AN ATTORNEY

SANTA ANA – Two private investigators working for a law firm retained by the Costa Mesa Police Officers’ Association (CMPOA) were arrested on charges of committing crimes against two Costa Mesa council members and a competitor attorney. Christopher Joseph Lanzillo, 45, Lake Arrowhead, and Scott Alan Impola, 46, Canyon Lake, are each charged with two felony counts of conspiracy to commit a crime of unlawful use of electronic tracking device, one felony count of false imprisonment by deceit, and one felony count of conspiracy to commit a crime of falsely reporting crime to agency. If convicted, Lanzillo and Impola face a maximum sentence of four years and four months in jail, as well as revocation of their private investigators’ licenses. They are each being held on $25,000 bail and are scheduled to be arraigned at a later date.

Background Information

At the time of the crimes, Lanzillo and Impola are accused of working as private investigators for the former Upland-based law firm of Lackie, Dammeier, McGill, and Ethir (LDME). CMPOA retained LDME to conduct “candidate research,” including surveillance on Costa Mesa city council members, in the months leading up to the November 2012 election.

On June 19, 2012, Lanzillo is accused of purchasing a GPS monitoring device using the alias of Robert Teller with Teller Investigations.

Victims

Councilman Stephen Mensinger

Between July 25, 2012, and Aug. 22, 2012, Lanzillo and Impola are accused of conspiring together to place a GPS tracking device on the vehicle of Costa Mesa City Councilman Stephen Mensinger without his knowledge or permission. Lanzillo and Impola are accused of using the GPS device to illegally track the location of Councilman Mensinger.

Councilman Jim Righeimer

On Aug. 22, 2012, Costa Mesa City Councilmen Jim Righeimer and Gary Monahan were at Councilman Monahan’s Skosh Monahan’s restaurant and bar in Costa Mesa. Impola is accused of conducting an operation searching for evidence to use against Councilman Monahan’s political career. Lanzillo is accused of arriving near the restaurant a short time later.

Impola and Lanzillo are accused of communicating with each other and LDME Managing Partner Dieter Dammeier by calling on their cell phones and through text messages. At approximately 5:45 p.m., Councilman Righeimer left the restaurant in his vehicle and drove home after he had consumed two non-alcoholic beverages.

Lanzillo is accused of calling 911 and falsely reporting that he observed a man stumble out of the location and into a vehicle that matched the description of Councilman Righeimer’s vehicle. Lanzillo is accused of falsely reporting that the vehicle was swerving on the road and that the driver may be under the influence of alcohol or disabled.

The Costa Mesa Police Department (CMPD) dispatched an officer to conduct an investigation. Councilman Righeimer was detained outside his home during this investigation for driving under the influence.

After administering a sobriety test and not observing any objective symptoms of intoxication, the officer determined that Councilman Righeimer was not under the influence and he was released. It was later determined that Councilman Righeimer did not stumble out of the bar and was not swerving when he drove.

Attorney

Between June 21, 2012, and July 12, 2012, Lanzillo and Impola are accused of conspiring together to place a GPS tracking device on the vehicle of an attorney at a law firm that was a competitor to the LDME firm without the victim’s knowledge or permission. Lanzillo and Impola are accused of using the GPS device to illegally track the location information of the victim.

CMPD provided reports and information to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA). The OCDA conducted an extensive investigation into all matters surrounding this incident. The investigation is on-going.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Robert Mestman of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.

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Posted in Costa Mesa | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

AD 74 Watch: Howard Ahmanson Weighs In

Posted by Scott Carpenter on June 2, 2014

As if the Assembly District 74 race hadn’t been entertaining enough, former GOP stalwart and conservative activist Howard Ahmanson made a late push attacking Keith Curry and attacking Anila Ali, while pumping up Karina Onofre in this mailer sent to democrats:Ali1

Ali2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ahmanson didn’t stop there, his Fieldsted & Co. has also made contributions to Curry and Ali’s opponents Emanuel Patrascu, Matthew Harper and Karina Onofre. This is quite interesting, it appears Ahmanson is trying to drive a wedge in the Democratic primary and see which viable GOP alternative can advance against Curry. Ahmanson famously left the GOP in 2008 saying the hard line stance against taxes was evidence of misplaced priorities. Interestingly he joined the Democratic Party which is much more in opposition to his social views. Picking Onofre, who claims she is a conservative Democrat, seems to be the “most” in line with the direction he wishes to see the party move. However the more practical purpose of these moves is to see a division in the Democratic primary prevail. About 25 hours from now we will see if it was too little too late.

Posted in 74th Assembly District | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

AD74 Watch: Karina Onofre Channels Napoleon Dynamite

Posted by Scott Carpenter on May 21, 2014

Being that I don’t live in Assembly District 74 I haven’t be privileged to receive the onslaught of mailers from the various candidates in the race. I’ve relied largely on this blog and Allan Bartlett’s blog  for info on the race. I did post previously on this race because of the pure entertainment value the “Feet to the Fire” forum provided. But since then all I have been able to see is the mailers and slates being posted, and of course the various articles about Karina Onofre trying to bring the Clippers to Orange County. As a Clipper fan I would love that, however I don’t see it as a realistic possibility at least in the next five years.

That was until a former co-worker of mine, sent me a message on facebook: “Scott, did you see the latest? Leadership – I will help you reach your dreams! That’s part of Karina “Karina” Onofre’s platform now” I immediately though “WHAT? THAT’S FROM NAPOLEON DYNAMITE!” So I had to see for myself, and sure enough on her facebook page there it is, right in her platform on her cover photo in the third bullet point:

Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 11.57.09 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For those of you who don’t remember the movie, its from Napoleon’s buddy Pedro’s famous speech while running for Student Body President.

Part of me is really glad SOMEBODY finally incorporated Pedro’s famous tag line into an actual political campaign, candidates have been missing out on this piece of gold for nearly a decade!

 

 

 

Posted in 74th Assembly District | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Prepare to be Entertained: The AD 74 “Feet to the Fire” Candidate Forum

Posted by Scott Carpenter on May 9, 2014

Chris Nguyen gave a great play by play on the lively forum that featured the candidates running for Assembly District 74. After reading it and following tweets by Allan Bartlett, I HAD to see the video. Lucky for me Jack Wu had tipped me off that the event had been taped. Last night I came across the YouTube video and watched the whole thing. It is incredibly entertaining…I’ll leave it at this: it was very lively and you will be able to see why.

 

Posted in 74th Assembly District | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Poll Numbers Being Circulated, Moorlach Ahead in CD 45 Race

Posted by Scott Carpenter on January 31, 2014

Before I say anything for the purposes of full disclosure I would like to say that I am a personal friend of the Moorlach family and work on the same floor as him at the County Hall of Administration. I also have a good relationship with Senator Walters’ staff and was a volunteer for her State Senate campaign, as an OC Young Republican board member I spent dozens of hours volunteering for her campaign. I do not know Greg Raths all that well, I’ve met him a few times and as State Vice-Chair of the Young Republicans I gave him an opportunity to speak at our last meeting at the CRP convention. Now on to the news:
 
A few months ago a friend of mine in Sacramento sent me a random message on facebook saying “Hey do you know who’s doing polling in CD 45?” I had no clue a poll was being conducted…and shortly after Pat Maciariello that episode dropped out of the race. So in my own head I came up with the theory it must have been Pat doing polling to check viability. Since then I always kind of wondered what the numbers looked like. Given my personal friendships with many directly involved with this race it was just something I was  really curious about.
 
Then the other day someone who had taken a peek at a recent poll passed on the results they saw from a recent poll to me: Moorlach is ahead in name ID and in raw results, Walters in second and Raths barely registers. When respondents are asked about Mimi’s car tax vote, Moorlach is WAY ahead. I assume the name ID out of the gate gives Moorlach a pretty good advantage being that he was a countywide elected official for more than 10 years, much like Allan Hoffenblum and Harvey Englander predicted early in the race in this OC Register article. I thought to myself because the poll included a question about Mimi’s car tax vote, this clearly had to be Moorlach doing the recent polling. So I just texted someone from Moorlach’s camp asking if A.) It was them doing the polling and B.) The numbers were true. Without going in to detail with me they basically confirmed my suspicion and left it at “more to come…”
 
So I guess now we wait to see what “more to come” is…

Posted in 45th Congressional District | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Pat Maciariello Withdraws from 45th Congressional District Race

Posted by Scott Carpenter on December 30, 2013

In the midst of the last minute “beat the clock” emails from various elected officials and candidates appealing for donations before tomorrow’s deadline, Congressional Candidate Pat Marciariello just sent out an announcement that he was withdrawing from the race. I had heard some rumors that this was a possibility, but I must say I did not realize how soon it could actually happen. This now leaves Supervisor John Moorlach, Senator Mimi Walters and Greg Raths as the remaining contenders in the GOP field.

His statement is below:

Friends,

After significant reflection with my family over the Christmas season we have decided that we will no longer continue in our candidacy for congress.  I want to thank all of those who have supported us over the past four months,  your kindness will not be forgotten.  Monetary contributions made to my campaign will be refunded in the coming weeks.   

Regards and God Bless.

Pat

Posted in 45th Congressional District | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tony Capitelli is in for Costa Mesa City Council

Posted by Scott Carpenter on August 20, 2013

With Costa Mesa Councilwoman Wendy Leece’s term on the city council expiring due to term limits and Mayor Jim Righeimer up for re-election next year may be interesting for the Costa Mesa City Council election.  Today Tony Capitelli, a staffer for Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, officially announced his intention to run for Costa Mesa City Council.

(Full Disclosure: Tony and I went to Concordia University together and have been friends since.)

Having known Tony since college I was excited when he called me a few weeks ago to inform me of his intentions to run.  He has always been an admirable person, he holds deep conservative values and truly understands public service. Costa Mesa of course remains the center of a lot of political turmoil with the ongoing labor negotiations, however I think Tony is taking a wise approach of asking for civility while city leaders must take steps to put Costa Mesa on a course of fiscal sanity based in reality.  Below is his official announcement:

Why I’m Running for Costa Mesa City Council

After careful prayer and consideration, I have decided to run for a seat on the Costa Mesa City Council. God has put each of us on a unique path, and in my life that path continues to be one of public service. Costa Mesa is a diverse city facing intricate challenges, and we need new leadership to carry us forward.

Costa Mesa is in many ways a microcosm of our nation. Civic Leaders of the past have lead us down the path of fiscal irresponsibility to the extent that this city could not even perform one of its most essential and basic functions, maintenance of its roads and streets. Although I may not always agree with their approach or on some of the details, the current council majority has been willing to address this issue, and thanks to them, our city is moving slowly toward fiscal sanity. While progress has been made, it will be up to the next council to continue this battle and push the message of responsible government. Costa Mesa is a wonderful family-friendly community that is home to world class arts, shopping and entertainment, but if our infrastructure is not properly maintained and improved, then we fail to meet our potential. Projects such as the revitalization of downtown, and improving the safety of our streets while making them both pedestrian and bike friendly will strengthen our communities. This path has not and will not come without sacrifice, but it is vital to Costa Mesa’s future.

This city also has the opportunity to demonstrate enhanced ways of serving the least fortunate in our community, those experiencing homelessness or those at-risk. Government is not the only answer to this problem, but we need a council that is supportive. Our faith based communities have shown that community development, along with charitable giving and private organization, can create opportunity for all Costa Mesa residents to succeed. Unfortunately, our current transitional housing facilities have created an environment that has become more of a burden, and we should work toward more innovative and productive solutions. City government, community organizations, and the Police Department, working collaboratively, can ensure that we achieve these goals while keeping our families safe.

The unique makeup of Costa Mesa, the recent influx of young families, and the residents who’ve called this city home for decades are all looking for new leadership. I seek the opportunity to accommodate that request with the utmost humility, and in doing so, I ask for your help. Whether it is through monetary donation, walking precincts, or most importantly, prayer, your support is vital to our success and is much appreciated. If you would like to help, please click the link below.

Thank you, and God Bless!

Tony Capitelli

Support Our Campaign!

Posted in Costa Mesa | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Norby Concedes Assembly Seat, Democrats Presumptively to get 2/3rds Majority

Posted by Scott Carpenter on November 14, 2012

With the OC Registrar of Voters releasing the latest election results today Assemblyman Chris Norby again lost ground and now trails challenger Fullerton Mayor Sharon Quirk-Silva by about 3,000 votes.  Upon news breaking Assemblyman Norby conceded the race in a statement to the Sacramento Bee’s Capitol Report.

This news is sad for me personally as I have several friends on Assemblyman Norby’s staff, including OC Political editor Chris Nguyen.  I also think it is a loss for North Orange County and California as a whole because Assemblyman Norby served both well in the Legislature.  Assemblyman Norby and his staff were always attentive to district needs and focused on real solutions for California.  However, redistricting and a popular Mayor in the district created the perfect storm for Democrats to score an upset and seize control of the vital 2/3rds majority.

Though they won 2/3rds, they won’t be able to govern with that majority quite yet as John Hrabe details in the FlashReport,  two Democratic legislators won congressional seats causing them to vacate their current seats.  Of course it is very likely that those two newly vacant seats will be filled by Democrats upon a special election.

What is bizarre however is that the California legislature routinely receives extremely low approval ratings and cannot figure out a way to balance the state budget responsibly, yet the electorate refuses to change course of who they send to Sacramento.  Now that the Democrats have the power to completely set the agenda and tax levels for California they have no one to blame but themselves for the state’s continued mismanagement.  There is a saying in politics, and life in general at times, that things must get worse before it gets better.  We may be facing that scenario with the Republican Party and governance in California after the results of last Tuesday.

Posted in Uncategorized | 14 Comments »

America’s Mayor Rudy Giuliani Brings in Cash for California GOP in OC

Posted by Scott Carpenter on September 21, 2012

Pundits routinely write off California as a helplessly blue state, but the fact remains that there are still many vitally important races in the state. The decennial redistricting that took place last year created several new and very competitive districts throughout the state, and the GOP has a great shot at picking up new legislative seats that were previously gerrymandered exclusively to Democrats, and of course the Mayor’s race in San Diego remains a focus of many throughout the state. The need to rebuild an ailing party in California starts with one thing: Money.

Democrats have had an advantage in California for decades due to the massive amounts of money that government unions can extract from employee paychecks and is later funneled into their operation. The California Republican Party is now poised ready to go back on offense and reclaim some of the newly drawn legislative districts. To get these operations going CRP Vice Chairman Steve Baric recruited America’s Mayor Rudy Giuliani to come raise funds for the party operation. Professional fundraiser Jenniffer Rodriguez and Baric put together an exciting event at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach last night that brought in over $100,000 for party operations. The event showed that donors and party faithful are serious and ready to turn the state back around one step at a time. Rudy brought that spark to life with him comments.

Giuliani of course ran for President in 2008 and declined to do so this cycle. He spoke highly of Governor Romney and of course of his disappointment in President Obama. In his blunt yet engaging New York style Rudy put Obama’s failures in plain terms, and highlighted the administration’s poor response to the recent terrorist attacks aimed at Americans in the Middle East. When asked about Governor Romney, Rudy’s advice was short and sweet: “Be yourself.”

With about a month and a half left to Election Day there is much work to be done by candidates, campaign staffers and volunteers. California Republicans remain focused on the priorities of bringing the party back on offense, and Rudy Giuliani’s encouragement flamed that spark a bit last night.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

OCYR Summer Party

Posted by Scott Carpenter on July 13, 2012

The Orange County Young Republicans are ramping up their operations for this coming November’s election.  To keep members active and recruit new member’s they’ve teamed with the Newport Harbor Republican Women and the Hispanic 100 to host a summer party for only 10 dollars.  As an OCYR board member I’m excited for this fun event, check it out at http://www.ocyr.org/ocyr_summer_party

Flyer below:

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

 
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