Welcome to the LSIS Investigative Journal

Welcome to the LSIS Investigative Journal

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Private Investigator falsely accused Costa Mesa Councilman Jim Righeimer of driving drunk linked to union law firm

Published: Aug. 25, 2012 Updated: 7:17 p.m.

Righeimer accuser linked to union law firm



COSTA MESA - The mystery caller who falsely accused Costa Mesa Councilman
Jim Righeimer of driving drunk is a private investigator linked to a law
firm that worked for the Costa Mesa Police Association.

Dispatch tapes obtained by The Orange County Register identified the caller
as Chris Lanzillo. Lanzillo is a fired Riverside police officer who
according to a published report got a medical retirement and became a
private investigator. Lanzillo worked sometimes for the Upland law firm of
Lackie, Dammeier & McGill, which until late last week represented the Costa
Mesa police union.

The union and city are tied up in contract negotiations.

At a news conference Friday, Righeimer blamed employee unions for the "911"
call that sent an officer to his home to conduct a sobriety test. Righeimer
had just arrived from a local bar, where he had two Diet Cokes. He passed
the test, and now wants the District Attorney's Office to look into the
incident, noting a similar event in Buena Park in 2010.

In that case, Councilman Fred Smith said his city's Police Department tried
to set him up for a DUI arrest because of decisions he made on the dais that
were unpopular with many officers. Smith was found to be sober; police
officials at the time brushed aside Smith's accusations, saying the officer
in question did not know who he was pulling over.

Righeimer said he doesn't know Lanzillo personally, but wasn't surprised to
learn about his connection to the law firm. The councilman said he believes
he had been followed for some time, and that the bar's security cameras show
Lanzillo's car following Righeimer's vehicle.

"What these organizations are doing is trying to get personal dirt on
elected officials so that they'll vote against the interest of cities or
counties to protect themselves," Righeimer said. "That's what makes this so
horrendously wrong. ...It's against the whole American system."

Minutes before the news conference, the police union notified the Register
that it had fired Lackie Dammeier for being too aggressive. One of the
tactics previously touted by the firm was to target a city or county
official until he fell into line - and then go after another "victim."

Lanzillo could not be reached, but attorney Dieter Dammeier confirmed he did
some work for the law firm. Dammeier denied any connection with the
Righeimer incident.

"I assure you, he was not employed or authorized to surveil (or do anything
else to) Mr. Righeimer by this firm," Dammeier wrote in an email.

Dammeier also said he understood Costa Mesa's desire to "go in another

"While our firm does have a reputation of being aggressive, we have learned
to acclimate to the various clients we represent. Given the hyper
anti-public employee nature of the council in Costa Mesa, it is
understandable that any employee group there will have to go to great
lengths to accommodate them," he wrote.

Dammeier added: "The reason we represent most of the POAs in L.A., Orange,
Riverside and San Bernardino counties is because police officers like and on
occasion require aggressive representation."

For more on Lackie, Dammeier & McGill, see today's watchdog column in the
Local section.

The "911" tape paints a picture of an out-of-control driver, staggering to
the car, swerving, rolling through a stop sign.

The caller told police: "I think he's DUI. ... He's just swerving all over
the road. ... I don't know what's wrong with him."

The caller went on to say that he could be wrong, "but why take a chance?"

Then the caller says he doesn't want to get involved.

"When I pulled into a location, I saw him coming out. I was meeting a friend
over at some location, I can't remember the name of it now and I saw him
like stumbling out of this location," the caller said. "I don't know, maybe
he's disabled."

Then the caller accuses Righeimer of rolling through a stop sign.

He then followed Righeimer home and pointed out the house to the arriving

"The officer made contact with the driver, identified as City Council member
Jim Righeimer, and determined that Mr. Righeimer had not been drinking and
was not under the influence," according to a police statement.

Righeimer said he was asked to follow a pen with his eyes and did not have
to take further field tests. He dismissed the idea he could have been
driving recklessly.

"From day one, when I was given the test," the councilman said, "right then
I realized this was a set-up, I knew immediately it was the labor unions."

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

KIDS FIRST of Orange County

Kids First is an interactive educational program designed to meet the specific needs of children whose parents are separated or divorced.

Kids First Youtube introduction video:

Linke:  Kids First video

Kids First website: 

Link:  Kids First website


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Private Investigator Arrested For Impersonating Police Officer
August 15, 2012 11:35 PM

YOLO COUNTY (CBS13) – Police arrested a private eye for impersonating an officer. They say he was trying to get unauthorized police records for his clients.

He’s a private eye now in the public spotlight.

Anthony Vegas allegedly lost a big bet.

“This is highly unusual,” said Woodland Police Department Lt. Anthony Cucchi.

The retired parole agent was trying to retrieve redacted police reports for a client by impersonating an officer, say police.

“There are some police reports where the victim’s protected. We protect their identity so that the suspect can’t find them later,” said Cucchi.

Vegas allegedly doctored his old corrections ID and used a phony badge to trick several local police records departments into giving him what he wanted.

And police say it was working. He reportedly gathered unauthorized records from Woodland and Sacramento police and the Solano County Sheriff’s Department before getting arrested in the act at the Yolo County’s Sheriff’s Department.

Vegas closed the door on CBS13 when we asked him for his comment, but he’s at the center of an open and ongoing investigation, charged with impersonating an officer.

Vegas may also see an additional charge of forgery when he goes before a judge.

LINK >  http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2012/08/15/private-investigator-arrested-for-impersonating-police-officer/

Court Ruling Puts Stamp of Approval on Warrantless Cell Tracking

Court Ruling Puts Stamp of Approval on Warrantless Cell Tracking

By Richard Adhikari
08/16/12 7:00 AM PT

Police may track suspects whereabouts using their cellphones without first obtaining a probably cause warrant, according to a recent federal court ruling. The decision "could be extended to apply to any sort of technology," said Yasha Heidari, managing partner of the Heidari Power Law Group. However, "whether the U.S. Supreme Court would agree is a different question."

1 in 5 Shoppers Prefers Live Chat: A recent survey with over 2,000 regular internet shoppers shows that ~20% of them prefer to communicate via live chat over any other method, for any circumstance. Further, the chatter is more likely to shop more frequently and spend more. Download the free report.

Law enforcement agencies may be able to freely track cellphone users without first getting a probable-cause warrant thanks to a ruling handed down by the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Jose on Tuesday.

The 2-1 ruling in the case of convicted drug trafficker and money launderer Melvin Skinner stated that the police did not breach Skinner's Fourth Amendment rights by tracking his location in real time through the signals his cellphone sent to cell towers.

The ruling focused on prepaid phones, or "burners," but the court "hinged its analysis on the fact that Skinner was driving on public streets and transmitting his data by using a cellphone," Hanni Fakhoury, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), told TechNewsWorld.

"Any phone that does this, prepaid or not, loses constitutional protection under the ... decision," Fakhoury continued.

The ruling "could be extended to apply to any sort of technology," agreed Yasha Heidari, managing partner of the Heidari Power Law Group. However, "whether the U.S. Supreme Court would agree is a different question."

When You Walk Through the Garden ...

Skinner was arrested after law enforcement agents tracked his location by calling him, then hanging up. This caused his "burner" to send a signal to the nearest cellphone tower, allowing the agents to establish Skinner's real-time location. This technique was used to track Skinner as he transported drugs along public roads between Arizona and Tennessee, U.S. Circuit Judge John M. Rogers said in his opinion.

The tracking let U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency agents locate Skinner and his son at a rest stop near Abilene, Texas, with a motor home containing more than 1,100 pounds of marijuana, Judge Rogers wrote.

Skinner was given a 20-year sentence, but he appealed on the grounds that under the Fourth Amendment, which protects people against unreasonable searches or seizures, the DEA agents couldn't monitor his whereabouts without a probable-cause warrant.

"We believe people have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their movements, particularly when aggregated over an extended period of time, as was done here -- three days," the EFF's Fakhoury said. "That's because this data can reveal details of a person's personal life ... and this technology has the potential to intrude into the home."

The Skinner case is "almost like having a safety deposit box in the bank," Heidari Power Law Group's Heidari told TechNewsWorld. "A reasonable person would expect that the contents of that box would remain secure and private, and that the government would need a warrant to inspect the contents, irrespective of the fact that the box is being held by a third party." Those contents are the data logged by Skinner's cellphone carrier.
... You Better Watch Your Back

Link to article: >>  http://www.technewsworld.com/story/75917.html