Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mensinger/Flores Drama Continues...

The drama swirling around the alleged incident between non-elected City Councilman Steve Mensinger and Estancia High School English teacher Joel Flores continues to accelerate like a Disneyland Tea Cup out of control.

This story apparently broke around 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 24th when Daily
Pilot Editor John Canalis published a story about the incident in the O.C. Now blog, HERE. That was followed by another story around 8:30 p.m. by Orange County Register columnist Frank Mickadeit, who is tight with Mensinger and other members of the power elite, published a column about the incident, HERE. Since it has since been updated the original publishing time stamp has been replaced, but the first comment in the long thread was published at 8:52 p.m. on the 24th.

According to those reports, Mensinger "chest-bumped" Flores at Estancia High School on Saturday, April 23rd, where both were volunteering for a community run event. Opinions diverge as to the actual circumstances and what precisely was said between the two men, but Flores did file a police report on the encounter on Saturday.

Apparently PR representatives from the Orange County Employee's Associ
ation heard of the encounter and began calling media representatives, who, in turn, began calling Interim Director of Communications Bill Lobdell about it on Saturday. According to Lobdell, he and Hatch received a copy of the police report shortly after 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. He forwarded the report to Mensinger at 3:45 p.m. on Sunday and the media reports mentioned above were published Sunday evening.


In pu
blished reports Mensinger is quoted as saying, "This is the kind of thing that occurs when outside interests attempt to take control of local government. They will do anything to disparage our city leaders, even if it means fabricating incidents. No matter what they do, I remain committed to balancing our budget." Some of us who have been following events in this city closely found that statement truly ironic, since Mensinger and his pal, Jim Righeimer, have been following the lead of the Orange County Republican Party and its President, Huntington Beach resident Scott Baugh.

On Monday, acc
ording to a report by Lauren Williams in the Daily Pilot, HERE, Mensinger filed a conduct complaint with the Newport Mesa Unified School District, apparently indicating that Flores confronted him Saturday, boxed him in making verbal threats and making him feel uncomfortable. According to subsequent reports, the School District has dismissed this complaint, citing that it had no jurisdiction because it occurred while Flores was not acting in his capacity as a teacher.


Permit me a little editorial comment here. If you've actually seen Steve
Mensinger and Joel Flores you'd realize how disingenuous and hollow Mensinger's complaint really is. Shown here with Righeimer and ABLE Commander Tim Starn on St. Patrick's Day, 2011, he towers over Flores and probably outweighs him 50 pounds. I'm trying to imagine just how "uncomfortable" Mensinger felt on Saturday.

This morning blogger Kathy Findley, a Westside Costa Mesa resident, posted an entry on the LiberalOC blog describing her conversation with Flores at a meeting last night. You can read it HERE. In a nutshell, she describes a very nervous young man, concerned about this situation and his personal safety. Findley also relates a story Flores told her about an incident involving students at school this week. Scary stuff, for sure. An observer privy to Findley's conversation with Flores described him as intimidated and petrified.


Findley describes what appears to be a campaign by The Mouth From
Mesa North, our community racist laureate and supporter of the Mensinger/Righeimer cabal at the CM Press, to incite a confrontation with Flores at the Open House at Estancia High School this evening. He's written about it twice in recent days, suggesting that concerned citizens attend the open house and confront Flores to "try to find out whether Flores' is spreading his lefty political/social view in the classroom." It's easy to understand why Flores is concerned about his safety.


I don't know how this issue is going to eventually shake out and what the police investigation will turn up, if anything. One thing becomes more clear each day, though. Steve Mensinger does not like to be challenged on any issue and will use and abuse his authority against those who express an opposing viewpoint, including chiding fellow council members and members of the public from the dais. This heavy-handed behavior, which he apparently is used to being tolerated in private industry to some extent, is completely unacceptable when demonstrated by a member of a government body that has control over so many elements of individuals lives. This is bullying carried to the extreme and must not be condoned. If he is permitted to continue this abusive behavior he's going to cost the City of Costa Mesa, and its residents, a lot of money in legal fees and in judgments paid and will discourage families and businesses from considering Costa Mesa as a place in which to settle.

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Blogger Joe said...

Does anybody know the details about the OC Superior Court sexual harassment case where Menssy was allegedly listed as a defendant, Vakili v. Arnel? Curiously, the file is listed as "destroyed" at the courthouse..

4/28/2011 11:14:00 AM  
Anonymous oclonghair said...

I was watching a recorded episode of ABC’s “Shark Tank” last night. After listening to a presentation and a plea for cash that would stop the hemorrhaging of her company, the 5 multi-millionaire “Investors” take turns asking questions in an attempt to get information, facts about the presented product and the company‘s financial situation; the information given to the 5 will assist in making an educated decision whether or not to invest in or with the person presenting their company. After a number of attempts to get necessary input from the presenter, which was proving to be a daunting task, Daymond John of FUBU Clothing attempts one last time to get the presenter to give more detailed answers to their questions. Just prior to speaking those disparaging words “I’m Out”, John makes this profound remark, “It’s what you think you already know that will prevent you from learning.”

Now I don’t know if this was an original quote or if he quoting someone else, but how appropriate is this for both the CM City’s Council Members and the Employee Association leaders.

4/29/2011 12:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Pentagon Hexagram said...

It's great to see that the $13,000 a month propagandist for the City works on weekends if Mensinger is in trouble.

I'm also relieved that the public's right to know is not being limited by any silly rules or procedures that those guys at the PD might put in the way of a City Council member who is under fire.

Taxpayers need to know that their elected officials have the ability to spin the news before they read it, and that the unwashed public only receives the official version news.

Costa Mesa Uber Alles!

4/29/2011 08:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Personally I think your blog may have had a hand in the Mensinger/Flores incident but that's my opinion.

Interesting how you always portray Mr. Mensinger as a problem and portray Mr. Flores as a scared intimidated child. Mr. Flores is a grown man who is responsible for teaching Costa Mesa kids. He should be conveying to them good values. Remember, Flores approached Mensinger, an elected official, and said some very angry things. That's not how mature individuals act and it doesn’t sound very scared or intimidated to me.

4/29/2011 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

And how, I wonder, might this blog have "had a hand" in the Mensinger/Flores incident? How did you get there?

I don't "always portray Mr. Mensinger as a problem" - just most of the time, because he is. Yes, Mr. Flores is a grown man, dedicated professional who is teaching your children and has done so for a long time. I agree with you that he "should be conveying to them good values". I don't know that he's not doing that in this incident.

You seem to be privy to the details of that encounter - can you tell us here just how you know exactly what happened? I know we'd all like to know, since we only have the statements form the two parties right now. Just who started it, who said what, who chest-bumped or not, etc. Please enlighten us.

As to whether or not Mr. Flores was scared or intimidated - what would your reaction be if a public official filed a conduct complaint with your employer? Would you be intimidated and maybe just a teeny bit afraid? Fortunately, the good folks at the school district realized this was a bogus claim and brushed it aside. Now let's see if there's a police investigation and how that turns out.

4/29/2011 03:01:00 PM  
Anonymous City Council SUCKS said...

I see Mensinger ran another Department head off. Development Services Director Kim Brandt after 23 years is leaving to head up the Community Development Department in Newport Beach. After 23 years this dynamic individual is leaving because of this idiots. Does Costa Mesa realize they are bouncing out every viable and educated individual. Oh thats right they have the UNFAB Four leading the city into the toilet.

4/29/2011 06:56:00 PM  

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