Private Investigators Accused of Tracking O.C. Councilman, Filing Fake DUI Report

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Christopher Joseph Lanzillo, 45, is seen in a photograph taken from a deposition video from a civil suit.

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Two private investigators accused of tailing an Orange County councilman with a GPS device and setting up another by calling in a false drunk driving report were charged Thursday with false imprisonment and conspiracy to commit a crime, the district attorney’s office said.

The Costa Mesa councilmen were targeted in the midst of a protracted city-police fight in 2012. The detectives were hired hands for an Upland law firm that had an advertised client list of more than 120 public safety unions and a reputation for aggressive attacks on City Hall, prosecutors say.

Christopher Joseph Lanzillo, 45, of Lake Arrowhead and Scott Alan Impola, 46, of Canyon Lake put a GPS monitor on Councilman Steve Mensinger’s car in July 2012, prosecutors say, and tracked him for about a month.

In August, prosecutors say, Impola and Lanzillo worked together to call in a fake DUI report on then-Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer after he left a bar owned by another Costa Mesa councilman.

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