Steven Greenhut on How Far Police Unions Can Go to Halt Reform


This ugly story starts in 2012 in Costa Mesa, California. Councilmen Jim Righeimer, Stephen Mensinger, and Gary Monahan were loathed by the city's police union because of their efforts to reduce pension liabilities and outsource services. Costa Mesa had become Ground Zero in the state's battle over reform, drawing protests reminiscent of the fracas between Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) and unions at the capitol in Madison. A political dispute is one thing, but on August 22 of that year it turned into something the Orange County District Attorney says is a serious criminal matter.  The arrest this week of two ex-cop private investigators charged with felonies related to their alleged attempt to set up a Costa Mesa city councilman for a false DUI, writes Steven Greenhut, ffers insight into the way some police unions across California intimidate political opponents into silence.