Legal Ethics

Suit against law firm says GPS device was implanted on politician's car

A lawsuit that claims a California law firm conspired to harass two Costa Mesa politicians has taken a new turn with an allegation that one of the pols had a GPS device implanted on his car.

The amended lawsuit against Lackie, Dammeier, McGill & Ethir says someone planted a GPS device on the car of a councilman Steve Mensinger during his re-election campaign last year, the Daily Pilot reports. The Los Angeles Times also reported on the court filing and says the OC Weekly was first to publish the news.

Mensinger says he learned the device was on his car from the Orange County District Attorney’s office, which raided Lackie, Dammeier, McGill & Ethir last month. “This is like a Grisham novel,” he told the Orange County Register (sub. req.).

The suit contends Lackie Dammeier, which is now disbanding, conspired with a private investigator and a police association to harass and intimidate Mensinger and Costa Mesa Mayor Jim Righeimer, both of whom support public pension reform, according to the Daily Pilot.

The law firm formerly represented a police union, but it was fired last year after allegations surfaced that the private investigator made a DUI complaint against Righeimer while following the mayor home from a bar. Righeimer passed a sobriety test and he produced a receipt showing he drank Diet Cokes at the bar, the Orange County Register says.

The law firm and the police association have denied wrongdoing. The association president told the Daily Pilot the group had no knowledge of GPS tracking. The private investigator told the Orange County Register, “I’m not saying nothing.”

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