Friday, November 09, 2012

And It Gets Stranger And Stranger...

We all laughed at the drama that took place at the Registrar of Voters office yesterday.  As each of these kind of events take place we chuckle and think, "Well, it can't get any stranger than that!"  We were wrong.

Tonight Orange County Register columnist and running buddy of the current power elite in Costa Mesa, Frank Mickadeit, published a fascinating column, HERE, in which he reveals "details" of the Great P.I. Stalking Righeimer event last summer.

 According to Mickadeit, the Private Investigator, Chris Lanzillo, confided to him Thursday that his mission on the day he tailed Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer from Skosh Monahan's pub to his home after contacting the Costa Mesa Police Department and reporting Righeimer as a probable drunk driver was actually to observe councilman Gary Monahan in some kind of an unsavory liaison with a planted operative at his pub.  His goal was to "get dirt" on Monahan.

I'll let you read Mickadeit's story yourself and form whatever judgments you might have on your own.  However, a couple things bother me about his story.


He says Lanzillo told him his assignment was to catch Monahan in a compromising position with the bimbo in the "low-cut top", yet - apparently on a whim - he follows Righeimer out on the chance that he might catch him driving drunk.  Really?  This just doesn't smell right.  Either Lanzillo is lying or he's the least reliable P.I. I've ever heard of!

And then there is this comment attributed to Lanzillo after he said he wouldn't talk with the District Attorney's office because, "I can't trust them.  I'm not going to talk.  They are all affiliated with each other."  If there's even a snippet of truth to that paranoid statement, then we all should be just a little nervous.

Mickadeit includes this sentence in his closing paragraph: "Until we find out who was behind this, the whole union-based, anti-Measure V/anti-Righeimer faction is smeared."  Well, I've been an outspoken critic of Righeimer and his bogus charter from the instant he proposed it.  I assume Mickadeit includes me in his much-too broad brush indictment and resent it very much.  For him to assign guilt to anyone, or any group, before any kind of investigation has been completed is sloppy journalism,  irresponsible and just plain wrong.  But, then, I guess I shouldn't assign my ethical standards to a guy who spends a lot of time bellied up to Monahan's bar, then writes these kind of pieces.  The readers should take this article with a grain of salt, even though the information it provides may be the tip of a very insidious ice berg of misbehavior in our city.

If Lanzillo was, indeed, hired by someone or some organization to perform the kind of surveillance and entrapment described in Mickadeit's column it, while perhaps not illegal, is despicable and unacceptable in the politics of our city.  I hope the District Attorney or, as a friend suggested, the Grand Jury investigates this situation and gets to the bottom of it regardless where the investigation takes them.

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Blogger Mike H. said...

Frank also smeared CM4RG, of course.

No, I'm not the girl in the low cut top...

11/09/2012 01:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Pretzel Logic said...

1. Geoff West finds a way to make Mickadeit sound worse than Lanzillo

2. Geoff West finds a way to make Mickadeit's column about Geoff West

It does get stranger and stranger.

11/09/2012 04:00:00 AM  
Anonymous History Channel said...

We don't see Frank as a "journalist," just another ocgop propagandist, one step above Dumb and Dumber (Fitzy and Mora). They just give Frankie a keyboard instead of a golf cart.

His life's ambition is to finish law school and work for T-Rack.

11/09/2012 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

Man, it would have to be certain that any female flirting with Monahan would be paid. And paid well at that. I am not saying its not true but it just doesn't sound right on so many levels.

11/09/2012 06:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Arthur T. Nern said...

Sounds like Lanzillo is telling a story that negates any intent to set-up Righeimer. If true then his report of "drunken driving" was only a mistake, not a crime (false report).

Who cares. Would anyone be surprised if Gary "took the bait?"

The big picture is that Riggy and the gang continue their attack on CMPD and Costa Mesa.
Mensy's "Contract with Costa Mesa," a slogan stolen from extremist Gingrich in the 90s, is the same thing- a gang contract ON Costa Mesa.

The charter victory and Genis's victory are part of a long struggle that's far from over.

11/09/2012 06:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Mary Ann O'Connell said...

Where to start? His editor should be shot for failing to fact check this, let alone edit it.

1) The previous stories, from multiple sources, say the law firm was fired BEFORE this incident. Mickadeit says, "The union denied it and fired the Upland-based law firm."
2) If Lanzillo was setting up Monahan, why was he outside? Wouldn't he be posing as a patron to witness Monahan's indiscretion? You can't see much from a parking lot.
3) This next part is ludicrous, " he took notice and decided to follow him home, thinking he might be able to catch him driving drunk." How long would it take to determine he was driving while impaired? A few blocks at most.
4) There is video of what is happening IN the bar? I hope there are signs alerting the patrons of that, because I am fairly sure that is required before you tape someone.

Mr Mickadeit can write what he wants and the paper can publish it, but to call this reporting and news is an insult. Let's give a gossip column so everyone understands what they are reading.

11/09/2012 08:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Gustavo Arellano said...

I think Frank got a great get, but I agree: his buddy-buddy-ness with Righeimer should disqualify him, period, from reporting on Costa Mesa. Hey, maybe the Weekly should start reporting on Costa Mesa again...

11/09/2012 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

As far as smearing CM4RG, that shadows we are a force to contend with that frightens them. Good. We may not have swept the election, but we are so close on their heels we will get them next time. And next time will be Righeimer.

11/09/2012 09:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Randall said...

Anyway you look at this the evidence leads, directly or indirectly, back to the police union. Who else has a motive? And was the motive extortion? And is extortion the reason Wendy flipped to the union side?

11/09/2012 09:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike McNutt said...

On the next episode of 'Costa Mesa'...

to be continued

11/09/2012 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Ah, Gustavo... don't pout. You and your guys still do the best investigative reporting in our neck of the woods.

11/09/2012 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

Has the DA made any of this public? Or just Frank?

11/09/2012 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

Mike, Mikadet is starting to sound like Righeimer..a bit screwy.

11/09/2012 10:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Quack Quack! said...

What a bunch of loons! You all find conspiracies in the most obvious and blatant facts around.

The PI himself copped to what he was doing. Mary Ann, go read the news again, the CMPOA fired the law firm AFTER the incident.

Lanzillo was here in Costa Mesa, far from his Inland Empire base, to entrap pro-reform Council members and candidates. They represented CMPOA at the time of the surveillance and false reporting operation.

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck - well, its a duck.

Facts never slowed you loons down, so continue on with your little stories, as if Geoff will actually post this! He has been hiding the ball for weeks now.

11/09/2012 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Quack Quack!, you gutless, anonymous coward... the stuff I didn't post wasn't fit for a men's room stall wall. If you were among those trying to get that crap posted, then you know what I mean.

My blog, my rules and standards. I've always posted both sides of an issue unless the stuff degenerated into a junior high spitting contest.

11/09/2012 11:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Robin said...

The Yes on V people easily spent a similar amount to those opposed to their version of a charter. A whole lot of money went to try to pass this piece of work. All you need are eyes in your head and and be able to add.

My house got 12 glossy “Yes on V” mailers and 9 “No on V” mailers. Some Yes on V mailers are from the Republican Party (who no longer represent a significant number of disaffected Republicans). They are sent as “member communications”. As such they are exempt from the same reporting requirements as other campaign expenditures; we cannot find out where the money is coming from or how much is being spent! You won’t find any data on those expenditures at the City Clerk’s but you can see the evidence in your mailbox (or trash by now).

Then add in signs, big expensive 3-color plastic ones, not the cheap small 2-color paper ones ‘No on V’ groups used. Add robo-calls and expensive push-polls from people with Indian accents. A push-poll is as ad disguised to make you think you are taking a poll but the aim is to manipulate your opinion. We are a Republican household and received those calls that seemed targeted to Republicans, yet we received none opposing V. The push-poll had a wide distribution across party lines, and someone spent a big chunk of change on that. Don’t forget to add all the internet ads! Oh, yeah, and a few bucks for gas for the golf cart.

CM4RG sent two mailers that were No on V on one side and our candidates on the other, plus one that we mailed to about 1/3 of the voters and walked the rest. We are not funded by even one penny of association or union money.

I don’t know what some of those things cost, but based on what CM4RG paid for our flyers I’m looking at a pile of glossy Yes on V mailers that cost $100,000- $144,000 alone, depending on how many houses they went to.

Make no mistake, the campaign to try to pass Measure V was a very expensive one. The attempt to persuade the public only one side spent a bundle but the other didn’t insults our inteligence, defies the evidence before out eyes and is blatanlty misleading.

11/09/2012 11:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Integrity counts said...


It is truly laughable that you actually try and assert that news coverage and public filings are somehow not reflecting the actual amount spent on promoting V.

Why play this game? The fact is, anti-V spent $500,000 - most from unions representing everyone BUT Costa Mesa. That is what Stephens calls a "bad fact."

Just deal with it, and stop trying to fabricate nonsense. Your integrity has been unassailable until now, this post does much to damage that impression with the public.

11/09/2012 11:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Hiding the ball said...

Geoff, you did censor civil and relevant posts that were critical of the Top 3 and the anti-charter movement. You have to live with that knowledge.

11/09/2012 12:03:00 PM  
Anonymous honeyman said...

What's good about this story is it woke up the bogus CMTA, and they have linked to it on their Facebook page. We hadn't heard from them since before the election. I imagined Fitzy drunk and passed out in the shape of a "V" in an Eastside gutter somewhere muttering about Genis and penis.

11/09/2012 01:55:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Nope, I didn't..

11/09/2012 02:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Peace and Love said...

Back to the real issues. How much of our hard-earned tax dollars did our city council spend on the entire Measure V process? There were staff hours, legal counsel, printing costs (for those oversize glossy brochures sent out to all households), filing fees with the registrar (for 2 elections-missing the first deadline), etc. which must all add up to a ginormous sum! That is more upsetting to me, a Costa Mesa home-owner and tax payer, than how much was spent by outside groups on this election. How much of our, the citizen's, money was spent on this failed city charter proposal?

11/09/2012 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

@ integrity counts

Fitz, what do you know about integrity? You cant even post under your own name. You cant even have a "conversation" without demeaning someone that has a different view than you. The corruption you promote alienated many good citizens, neighbors, in this city.

11/09/2012 03:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Consiracy theory said...

Still doesn't make sense... He doesn't clear his name here... I am still betting Lanzillo was hired by OCGOP or associates to manufacture this entire lie.

11/09/2012 03:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Dirty Little Secret said...

Anybody that has ever set foot in Gary's little bar knows that he is "extra" nice to the female customers and even more so to the female employees. This is no secret, and trying to catch him in the act would only show the people that never visit his booze barn what happens in the place, and what about what's happening upstairs in the "political room" ?

11/10/2012 06:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Stranger than fiction said...

Hey Geoff,

The following quote from the Daily Pilot article- "PI attorney says client unlikely to face charges"

"Another man, believed to be an investigator, was referenced in court records. His exact involvement in the case is unclear, and he could not be reached for comment."

Any idea who this might be or where or how to find these court records to identify this individual? Would be VERY curious if this person is the same PI that one of the council people hired to film the city employee know the one where the "volunteer" video'ed it? With the questionable timeline and PI who rumor is didn't or couldn't identify the suspect though he supposedly watched and recorded him doing it...the video with what sounds like Fitzy's voice at the end?

This whole thing stinks to high heaven...if it were a set up (by the PD), wouldnt it be easy to actually watch if Righeimer drank alcohol, and what kind of PI would arrange a questionable rendevous and then arbitrarily leave to follow someone else in hopes of getting them driving drunk, call from his own cell phone, remain at the scene, give his real name...etc, etc...totally bush league and there is just sooo much wrong with expecting us to believe the CMPD arranged this...if the PI is willing to stoop to the levels he did, he's probably also a manwhore for the highest $ and greedy and dishonest enough to be used because of his prior connection to their attorneys to conveniently point back to the PD's POA...

Wonder if this latest Lanzillo admittance would have occurred had the charter passed? Seems like its awful convenient to help keep the union thug war drum beating since they werent able to defeat union dues collections...still need their boogeyman if they're gonna go back and use the right process this time to try to pass another charter....

Thank god the state is finally taking up the pension reform so another tier will be in place so we can hire more cops...Capt. Ahab would never reach any kind of compromise and its a wonder any of the city groups have been gracious enough to still want to negotiate when they dont have to.

Funny how there's never been any drama, ill will, polarization and embarrassment of our city, no Rodney King, no Kelly Thomas issues, only Mansoor and Righeimer extremism costing us sad what's become of our little town...

11/11/2012 10:32:00 AM  

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