COSTA MESA, Calif., May 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Attorneys representing Costa Mesa Mayor Steve Mensinger, Mayor Pro-Tem Jim Righeimer and their families overcame a challenge by the Costa Mesa Police Association to their lawsuit for alleged union harassment, intimidation, malicious persecution and other illegal acts against their clients.
In a ruling issued on Monday, May 9th the California 4th District Court of Appeals refused to dismiss motions by defendants, including the Costa Mesa Police Association and attorneys Lackie, Dammeier, McGill, and Ethir to prevent the lawsuit from moving forward.
The Court ruled that the State's Anti-SLAPP law designed to protect individuals from being sued for participating in the political process did not protect the police union and their associates by being sued for their allegedly illegal actions in this case.
"This court ruling reaffirms the principle that police union thuggery, harassment and intimidation against public officials are not the kind of free speech and political participation which are protected by California law. We look forward to taking this case to trial and receiving just compensation for our clients and their families," said John Manly, a partner in the Irvine California based law firm Manly, Stewart & Finaldi.
Costa Mesa Mayor Steve Mensinger and Mayor Pro-Tem Jim Righeimer have sued the Costa Mesa Police Association, their law firm and a private investigator alleging a vicious campaign of harassment and intimidation tied to labor negotiations in 2012 between the City of Costa Mesa and the police union.
It is alleged that the union, their law firm and a private investigator engaged in a scheme to falsely accuse Mayor Pro-Tem Righeimer of driving under the influence and unsuccessfully attempted to lure married Mayor Mensinger into a compromising position with a female "decoy" in a bar.
Further investigation revealed that a police quality GPS tracking device had been placed on Councilman Mensinger's car and remained there throughout his re-election campaign.
"This unlawful conduct represents the actions of only a few bad apples in the Police Department, not the majority of the fine law enforcement officers that protect and serve the people of Costa Mesa. Our clients have full confidence that the new Chief of Police and his administration will put a permanent end to this kind of misconduct," said attorney Vince Finaldi, a partner in Manly, Stewart & Finaldi.
In addition to the civil lawsuit, this case is currently being investigated by the Orange County District Attorney and the FBI.
Private investigators hired by a law firm working for the Costa Mesa Police Association have been charged by the District Attorney with multiple felonies and are currently awaiting trial.
About Manly, Stewart & Finaldi
Manly, Stewart & Finaldi is a law firm based in Irvine, California, which specializes in representing victims of bullying, intimidation and sexual abuse. Through trial and settlement, Manly, Stewart & Finaldi have assisted in the recovery of more than a billion dollars for their victims.
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SOURCE Manly, Stewart & Finaldi