How the OC Register’s Top Editor Bowed to Pressure From a Prominent Politician

OC Supervisor Todd Spitzer (left) and OC Register Editor-in-Chief Rob Curley. (Photo credit Nick Gerda/Voice of OC and unknown)

On Good Friday last year, Todd Spitzer, then chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, carried a loaded gun into a Wahoo’s Fish Tacos and made a citizen’s arrest — slapping handcuffs on a young man who wouldn’t stop preaching to him about God.

It was a classic “only in Orange County” story. Not only are citizens’ arrests extremely rare, it’s unheard of that one would be made by a prominent politician in one of the state’s largest counties — a man who will very likely run for district attorney in 2018.

CBS’s Los Angeles affiliate broke the news in September by posting recordings of the 911 calls Spitzer had made during the incident. In no time media outlets throughout Southern California were all over the story, including The Orange County Register.

The first version of the Register article, written by Meghann Cuniff and posted on Sept. 3, was nearly identical to accounts published in other outlets. But Spitzer took issue with the article and immediately began to lobby Editor-in-Chief Rob Curley to make changes to it.

Nearly two months later, Curley succumbed to Spitzer’s pressure and made an addition to the article that cast Spitzer’s actions in an entirely different light. The addition, which was not accompanied by an editor’s note or any other indication that a change had been made, outraged Cuniff and has been characterized as an act of journalistic malpractice by media ethicists.

The original summary of events, as reported by the Register and several other outlets, went like this:

Spitzer was having lunch at the Wahoo’s in Foothill Ranch when the man, 32-year-old Jeovany Castellano, came up to his table and began preaching. Spitzer told him he wasn’t interested and to go away — but the man kept on preaching. With the situation intensifying, a restaurant employee intervened and asked Castellano to sit at another table.

Castellano did as he was told; but, Spitzer claims, continued to stare at him and at a dinner knife on the table.

Having had enough, Spitzer left the restaurant and called 911 from the parking lot and demanded that police respond to the situation. He then went to his car and retrieved his handcuffs and a fanny pack that contained a handgun. He went back into the restaurant, approached Castellano and cuffed him.

A Swift Backlash

The reader reaction was not kind to Spitzer. Many of the commenters to Cuniff’s story expressed dismay at what they considered the actions of an unhinged individual.

“Mr. Spitzer, it is not ok for you to legally handcuff someone who is irritating to you,” wrote commenter Clint Worthington. Another commenter wrote: “From this article, I can’t say which one of these guys is scarier!”

Spitzer was incensed with the reader backlash and focused his ire on Cuniff, who, since taking over the county beat nearly a year earlier, had taken an investigative approach to Spitzer’s actions as supervisor.

He emailed Curley demanding corrections. After weeks had gone by, Curley finally agreed to a meeting with Spitzer. And following that meeting, nearly two months after the story had been first published, a new paragraph appeared in the article.

The change centered on Spitzer’s actions when he came back into the restaurant after getting his gun and handcuffs. Here is the key passage from the original version:

Spitzer called 911, identifying himself as a county supervisor. He told the dispatcher that he was eating lunch when “a stranger comes up to me and wouldn’t get out of my face and I asked him to leave me alone.”

“He’s like, harassing me. He needs to be talked to … I’m concerned for my safety,” Spitzer said, according to a recording of the 911 call.

With deputies en route, Spitzer went to his car and retrieved his gun and handcuffs. Then, Spitzer said, Castellano gave him permission to put on the handcuffs. Spitzer also searched the man.

Here’s how that passage reads in the updated version of the article, which first appeared on Oct. 29:

Spitzer called 911, identifying himself as a county supervisor. He told the dispatcher that he was eating lunch when “a stranger comes up to me and wouldn’t get out of my face and I asked him to leave me alone.”

“He’s like, harassing me. He needs to be talked to … I’m concerned for my safety,” Spitzer said, according to a recording of the 911 call.

With deputies en route, Spitzer went to his car and retrieved his gun and handcuffs.

“After I returned … Castellano got up and assertively came again toward me,” Spitzer said. “He had been seated in the booth with the manager telling him to leave the premises. It was only then that I asked him to stop and sought his permission to search him because he was scaring patrons who were leaving and I became very concerned for our safety.”

In the first version of the story, there is no mention of Castellano coming toward Spitzer when he returned to the restaurant with his gun and handcuffs. And Spitzer is only concerned with “my safety.” In the new version, Castellano “assertively came again toward” Spitzer, and was “scaring patrons who were leaving and I became very concerned for our safety.”

With that change in the story, Spitzer goes from someone who could be seen as overreacting to a harmless proselytizer, to someone who was protecting himself and others in the restaurant from an aggressive individual.

But the records don’t support this characterization.

In lobbying for the change to the published article, Spitzer claimed in an email to Cuniff that statements by him and Castellano to police, as well as his comments to Cuniff, back his claim that Castellano assertively came at him prior to the handcuffing. However, Voice of OC reviewed statements in police reports, dashboard camera video and Cuniff’s audio recorded interview with Spitzer, and found nothing that corroborates Spitzer’s new account.

‘Unethical Overreach’

Journalism is often referred to as the “first draft of history,” and in the online era, corrections, clarifications, and other updates to articles that have already been published are commonplace. But it is considered a cardinal rule that those changes — if they in any way cast the article in a new light — must be accompanied by a note to readers explaining how and why they were made.

Media ethicists interviewed by Voice of OC say Curley violated that rule.

“This is clearly an unethical overreach by the editors. They inserted a quote that casts a more benign light on this incident, or on Mr. Spitzer’s activities based solely on his word, with no further reporting, with no corroboration by any witnesses,” said Marc Cooper, a recently retired professor at USC’s Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism.

“It certainly suggests from the outside an unhealthy relationship between this local official and whoever the editor was who made the decision to alter the story.”

Curley declined to speak on the record about the issue and told a reporter he would be sending a statement. The statement never came. Spitzer also did not return repeated calls for comment.

Cuniff, who has since been laid off by the newspaper, was reluctant to comment but ultimately did because, she said, Curley’s change was “so unusual.” She said she strenuously objected to including the quote.

Cuniff said she met with Curley and other editors after Curley’s meeting with Spitzer. She said she was told Spitzer had concerns that certain details from his account were left out, and that she needed to turn over a transcript of her interview with Spitzer to determine whether a correction or clarification was necessary.

The reporter did as she was told and figured that, if a clarification was needed, it would be handled appropriately. She was shocked when she saw the new version of the story.

While Cuniff told Voice of OC she understands that “you can’t win every single” newsroom battle, she also says she “emphasized that this was totally wrong, this was totally inaccurate and I questioned why we would be letting somebody retroactively edit the story like that and add stuff that’s just not true.”

Cuniff provided Voice of OC with an email exchange between her and her editors that indicates it was Curley who decided to make the change. It also shows that Cuniff emailed Curley and other editors with her objection to the addition. After receiving no reply, she emailed another plea, this time only to Register editor Dan Beucke.

Beucke wasn’t Cuniff’s editor on the Wahoo’s piece, but he was involved because he was her editor on a story she was working on at the time regarding a Spitzer campaign fund. Spitzer’s complaints were holding up Cuniff’s ability to report on that story. She was told she couldn’t speak to Spitzer about the fund until his complaints were resolved, she said.

“I really just want to move on from this, but I also don’t think we should let Spitzer insert errors into the story six weeks after it publishes,” Cuniff wrote in an Oct. 30 email to Beucke.

Beucke responds: “I asked, was told Rob [Curley] wanted to add ‘his full response.’ … Moving on.”

Beucke, who now works for the Los Angeles Times, declined to comment.

Records Conflict With Spitzer Account

Cuniff also provided Voice of OC with the audio of her interview with Spitzer. During his retelling of the story, Spitzer details blow-by-blow what happened, and even highlights what he claims were inaccuracies in the police report by Deputy Danielle Stow, including the fact that Castellano was looking at a dinner knife and not a butter knife as reported by Stow.

But when it comes to that crucial moment just before Spitzer handcuffs Castellano, Spitzer only tells Cuniff that Castellano was “standing there.”

And when speaking to the deputy immediately after the incident, he had an even foggier recollection. Here are Spitzer’s comments as recorded by the dashboard camera in Stow’s patrol car:

“So then, something happened. I can’t remember what,” Spitzer said. “I don’t know if there was a second time, I was like this is bullshit because I went and got my cuffs. I was just like I don’t know what he’s got, so I decided to hook him up.”

Another witness account also makes no mention of Castellano coming at Spitzer. Wahoo’s corporate trainer Sergie Osorio, who was on the scene, told Stow that Spitzer decided to handcuff Castellano because Castellano kept looking at him.

It’s Castellano’s stares that unnerve Spitzer the most, according to his own interviews with Cuniff and Stow. He told Cuniff the incident began when he had a “weird sensation” and realized Castellano was looking at him.

Regarding Castellano, Osorio said: “[He] was very solid, very calm, and at no point did I saw (sic) him being threatening or anything.”

Ken Doctor, a journalism expert who writes about new media, said the Register should have handled Spitzer’s complaints by writing a new story. That would have allowed the Register to vet Spitzer’s new account with reporting from other records and include the scrutiny in a new article.

Doctor also said the timing of the addition – almost two months after publication – was “very unusual” and raised other troubling questions.

“Six weeks doesn’t seem like news, it seems like it raises the question of pressure by a prominent official,” Doctor said.

Cooper pointed out that it would have been difficult for the Register to explain why it made the addition because there was no vetting of the quote done to justify whether it was a necessary update.

“You and I both know even at a fourth-rate news organization, the editor would take five or ten minutes out of his life to try and corroborate the statement with another source,” Cooper said.

Editor David Washburn contributed to this report.

Correction: A previous version of this article misspelled the name of Jeovany Castellano. Also, after publication of this article, media expert Marc Cooper informed Voice of OC that he recently retired from USC’s Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism.  

Please contact Adam Elmahrek directly at and follow him on Twitter: @adamelmahrek

  • Paul Lucas

    Has the register attempted to justify their actions? I mean in a substantive way.

  • Roger Butow
  • Roger Butow

    Ok, closing in on the anniversary of Spitzer’s Spat (Good Friday 2015), here’s the linkage to last September’s column by VofOC, you’ll note that neither the embarrassing Supervisor or reaction to the situation has changed

  • Paul Lucas

    Its almost as if T Rack and The Sheriff and their respective “crews” share Todd’s ability to use the OC register as their own Marionettes.

  • Annie Nanimoss

    Spitzer is an embarrassment and nothing but a cheap thug. He fancies himself some sort of mob-like king pin. He is the poster child for unethical behavior. He even bullies County employees into getting him free entrance to venues they inspect. And they have to do it too! Ordered by their superiors to comply out of a sense of intimidation and fear for the longevity of their positions. That’s Spitzer’s legacy. Anyone who would vote for him is simply uninformed and naive.

  • Roger Butow

    Could VoOC please provide the links to the original article(s) they posted on this topic when it broke as a story 6 months ago, as a reference point for fellow travelers?
    I think your readers might be amused at the outcry expressed then. I know that I sure had a lot of fun with Pretty Boy Spitzer’s behavior, and I think that if you could make sure that the VoOC original + reader comments there’d be better/greater context. And more web hits!
    Yes, it’s gotten more outrageous (if that’s really possible at this stage), but historical context of this outlet’s watchdog function would be educational.
    Besides, those of us who posted back then can savor our “I told you so” moments!

    • OCservant_Leader

      I agree- VOC should post links to previous posts about the story for reference.

      Many of us were outraged when this coverup was first exposed.

  • Cynthia Ward

    Wow. Just….wow.

    I am a LOT less concerned about the Register’s reaction to this insanity than I am concerned by law enforcement’s reaction. Or non-reaction. Using the 911 system for a non life-threatening situation and cuffing someone for LOOKING AT YOU? Is there not a law about claiming defense if you had a reasonable escape route open and failed to take it? If you can get out of the restaurant to your car to get gun and cuffs, you can also get to your car to LEAVE or lock yourself in and call Police. To return to the situation you were clear of is no longer defending yourself, it’s escalating a situation. How does one NOT go to jail for this? Oh yeah, power and money. Sorry, forgot myself. So…what happened to the poor schmuck who was trying to share his religion with someone constitutionally incapable of worshipping any deity other than self? Did this Castellano file a lawsuit? Or is the guy still in jail, being shuffled from unit to unit, lost in the system?

    This is far from the first report of the Register compromising their integrity. We may recall it was Voice that broke the story of the Register’s changed policy on paid political ads, a policy that applies ONLY to ads against establishment politicians, and a policy changed AFTER a meeting at Anaheim City Hall, with staff in attendance in the City Manager’s office, where Anaheim’s Murray and Eastman objected to opposition ads at a discussion where the Register was requesting naming rights for ARTIC. Nope, no undue influence. We have seen slanderous Opinion pieces from political enemies printed without objection while rebuttals to clear the record are delayed by the Register, and at one point the Register would not even let citizens buy a page to print the rebuttal they were delaying!

    Ironically I got an email from them today, “we miss you, we want you back, we have a great deal for you.” Sorry, the Register cannot offer a price low enough to induce me to purchase retreads of press releases, and misinformation that leads to dangerously poor leadership being elected and reelected thanks to the failure of the last remaining mainstream print media to produce the actual NEWS.

    Now here is the BIG ISSUE. Until WE THE PEOPLE understand that investigative journalism is an honorable profession worthy of payment to the journalists, we will continue to erode the production of investigative journalism. These guys cannot do the job as volunteers, SOMEONE needs to pay for that work! We have come to believe that because the internet is “free” the content provided should be too. Where is the incentive for a journalist to stick their necks out and investigate a powerful figure? In the past, journalists were protected by the fact that news was watched and read by everyone in the community, and retaliation would not be acceptable. Today we skip the evening news for “Dancing with the Bachelor While Redecorating the Homes of the Stars”….we no longer read the news we read the headlines and believe we have read the news. Not only can a reported be canned today by editors bowing to pressure of politicians, they could go missing entirely and nobody would follow up because our sound-bite attention span no longer tracks a story beyond the time it takes to eat our lunch while scrolling through online content. AND we want it provided without paying for any of it, Good luck with that plan.

    How do we remain an informed electorate when we refuse to fund those who would inform us? This story alone cost many hours of Adam’s life, I am sure. From getting the original tip, the follow up, listening to the taped interviews, tracking people down and asking more info, it all adds up. We too often have journalists choosing between reporting the news and paying the rent. THANK YOU to Voice of OC for making sure journalists can do BOTH, and shame on us for not stepping up and funding a lot more of that effort. COME ON PEOPLE, we get what we pay for, and that is reflected in the failure of the Register to report the news that nobody is funding anymore.

  • Steve Downing

    Hook him up? Spitzer is a wannabee. What’s he doing with handcuffs and a gun anyway? Is that Orange Country Cowboy stuff? This guy would be no improvement over what we have in the DA’s office now. Sad what we get for elected officials these days. Really sad.

    • Paul Lucas

      He is a former LAPD volunteer reserve officer.

      • Steve Downing

        Got it. Former means he needs a carry permit. Guess he kept the cuffs for extracurricular activity or not??
        Thanks Paul. ???

        • Paul Lucas

          This IS THe OC after all Steve. Former, ex, what have ya LEO will never be held to account for anything involving a gun. Guns have more protections here in OC than do low income defendants. I thin k Todd just needed to take a nap and chill out.

          • Jacki Livingston

            My dad was a former deputy sheriff, in some backwater berg. He kept his badge after he was fired for drinking on the job, and he used it for professional courtesy every time he got stopped for DUI. Worked like a charm, all across the USA.

  • Jacki Livingston

    This is classic Spitzer. People think that Trump is a Hitler wannabe, let me tell you, he is a piker, next to Spitzer. When Spitzer found out that he was at the top of my witness list on my Worker’s Comp trial, he got his wife, Jamie, to assign his very close friend, who was his client, who has said in interviews that she owes him her life, to be the judge of my hearing. A settlement was pushed, and the County has never lived up to those agreements. Later, when I spoke out on this site, Spitzer sent two off duty sheriff’s deputies to my home. They were sent to intimidate me into silence. I can prove that. The county accused me falsely, they destroyed my career. I can prove, definitively, that the County of Orange not only looked the other way during horrific and violent abuse of patients in nursing homes, but that high ranking officials like Spitzer were taking money from these criminals. I have contacted the Register, and was told, point blank, that no reporter was willing to write anything negative about Spitzer, no matter how much proof I had, because they knew they would be fired. The Register is not a legitimate news source. They are in bed with the BoS, pure and simple. Spitzer keeps taking the ill gotten gains of these sleazeballs, threatening any employee who challenges him. I have been blackballed and financially ruined, my career in tatters, and I am reduced to writing posts on Craigslist, telling the world what happened and Spitzer’s part, just to try and find a job somewhere. Todd Spitzer thinks he will be Governor. I pray that he ends up disbarred and in jail. He is not just a sleaze, but he is a lousy Supervisor and even worse lawyer. He is a disgrace. I cannot really blame the Resgister editors. I know what he did to me. I can only imagine what he would do to them.

  • Spitzer’s stupidity aside, this story demonstrates how far downhill the OC Register has slid. To call it a fourth rate source of news is exaggerating their status. The only people who still read the Register are those old fogies who haven’t learned how to use the iPad their grankids gave them for Christmas. At least I still have something to line my birdcage with.

    • mutheta

      @Jeff – Are you sure the OC Register still exists?

      • A copy still shows up on my doorstep for my father in law who still insists on reading a paper copy of the news.

  • jcbl

    One more example of why you cannot trust the press and further evidence of why they are slowly going the way of the dodo bird.

    • Andrew Galvin

      And the press brought you this story!

      • David Zenger

        Yeah, but it’s a sad day when the press has to waste time reporting on the press.

  • LFOldTimer

    This is what sends shivers up and down my spine more than anything else in American society: Implications or allegations supported with some facts that the mainstream media is in bed with government authorities or special interests. The media is our next to last line of defense against government tyranny – second only to torches and pitchforks. The media has a HUGE responsibility to society. Once the media is compromised we’re all in big trouble. We’ve seen it with reporting on the 2008 meltdown and the Wall Street criminals. We’ve seen it with police abuse cases. We’ve seen it with influential politicians getting one pass after another. It’s reminiscent of what on in the old Soviet police state in the 20th century. America has always prided itself on freedom of the press – which is part and parcel of living in a free society. When the press is not free from intrusive government influence – we are not free as a people.
    It bothers me what happened to Cuniff. I have no idea why she was ‘laid off’. It could be totally unrelated to this story. But I’m suspicious. We used to have loads of great investigative reporters in this country – like Woodward and Bernstein who broke Watergate. With all the filthy unholy alliances between politicians and government agencies and big business for the last 30 years I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we haven’t had any investigative reporters uncover other political scandals at the Watergate level. It’s certainly not for lack of material. I think it’s because the reporters are all walking on eggshells and are scared to death of exposing the dirty influential politicians at the risk of being blackballed by the media industry. It’s not easy for a former journalist to find a decent paying job after being shunned by the mainstream media. We have a very complacent (and complicit) media in America today – compared to 50 years ago. And that frightens me.
    Expect a response from Spitzer on this. This one is too big to ignore. But it’s going to have to be very carefully crafted. How could he possibly explain the inconsistencies?
    Excellent reporting, Adam. We can always count on VOC to produce a blockbuster every now and then. The quality of your stories never disappoint. Norberto has really put together a great staff.

    • Kathleen Tahilramani

      “Once the media is compromised we’re all in big trouble”

      You nailed it – we are indeed in big trouble.

  • OCservant_Leader

    The “Gun-Toting”,”unhinged”, “bible-thumbing arresting” Supervisor runs UNopposed for reelection? Really?

    This screams of an entrenched organized crime operation RICO in the OC. Anywhere – USA, this innocent citizen “arrest” and media cover up would end a politician’s career in a second (except well maybe Texas).

    Why won’t anyone run against him?

    Because the politicians control the Votes via Register of Voters? – check

    Because he has a war chest of million dollars from County Vendors ready to crush an opponent with lies? -check

    Because his crew has an army deployed in the Bureaucracy via decades of appointments running campaigns 24/7 on taxpayers dime? check

    Because the DA won’t pursue government corruption? – check

    Because they control the media? – check – well except for the VOC!

    KUDOS VOC for running the story — except it’s “after” candidates’s filing deadline…

    • LFOldTimer

      Spitzer is a consummate career politician. One thing that breed does is build a inpenetratable wall around themselves with insiders and sychophants. It seems that Spitzer has done it very successfully. Just keep in mind he couldn’t do it alone. It takes a village. That’s the scary part.

  • Kathleen Tahilramani

    This is an outrage. Spitzer acted in a dangerous, unprofessional and outrageous manner. Spitzer was 100% out of line and he should have faced serious consequences for pulling out a handgun and cuffing a person without any justification. And to manipulate the press to rearrange the story to give the impression he was “protecting” the community is just sick. I bet the OCSD got a good laugh out of that concept. If anyone else did this forget about it – it would be all over including the slam of the jail door – who get’s away with pulling out a firearm and cuffing an innocent person? And this is the person who wants to be the next DA? Who is he kidding. If he is elected the next DA then SHAME on us. Shame on the OC Register what a case of zero journalistic integrity. Spitzer- vote of no confidence, OC Register – no confidence. Spitzer is dangerous and the OC Register is a weak rag.

    • David Zenger

      “I bet the OCSD got a good laugh out of that concept…”

      I’m sure they did, too. But you’ll notice that the story wasn’t leaked until AFTER the Sheriff’s budget was approved and after the OIR got its 11th Hour reprieve to make Sandy happy. A connection? I don’t doubt it.
      Spitzer is a really expensive political date.
      As for The Register, well…never mind.

      • Kathleen Tahilramani

        Interesting point. I think you are on to something. I guess I just hope that someday people will wake up and see Spitzer for the absurdist he is & he confirms it over and over again least we forget….

      • LFOldTimer

        And don’t forget about the nice big fat salary increases awarded to OCSD during the previous labor negotiations. Sweet! That’s what friends are for.

        • OCservant_Leader

          Yea- I forgot to mention Spitzers retroactive gift to the Sheriff Deputies and enhanced pension he saddled current working employees with the bill.

          He is the poster child of corruption for sure.

          • LFOldTimer

            Why are pension formula modifications in government only retroactive when the percentages go higher? No one has ever given me a satisfactory answer to that question.

    • Jacki Livingston

      Why would the OCSD laugh? They are his personal guido squad. They came to my house to tell me to shut up talking about Pwecious Wittle Toddykins. He owns them, and the DA’s office, and the Grand Jury. Ask him about Louise Armstrong, or an attorney named Theodora…yeah, he is as dirty as it gets.

      • Kathleen Tahilramani

        Actually, to explain I was being sarcastic. The dispacher who took the call sounded like she was throwing up in her mouth – the distain was evident to me. He may own them – it’s a bully fear thing – but I’m betting he does not have the respect of the rank and file. Nobody likes a little wanta be…….Having been thru the fire with the goon squad of 5, I have zero illusions about what they are willing to do to get their way and cover their tracks – in a word anything.

        • Jacki Livingston

          Ahhhhh, I see. Yeah, the two deputies who came to my house seemed embarrassed and were so apologetic. Spitzie is an embarrassment to the OC like Herr Trump is to the nation.

          • Debby Bodkin

            Your life sounds a lot like mine when I lived in OC. Back then Sheriff Carona apparently sent OC sheriff reserve Jon Fleischman to park outside my home for hours with another OC Sheriff….. Suspicious activity they both told me with a computer in their lap. Nothing has changed with the new OC Sheriff Hutchens.

          • Jacki Livingston

            Well, my dear, life has a way of turning on its head. I just got hired by a local businessman who is friends with many of the people Spitzer burned on his way up. My, my, how the worm does turn for Toddy. Seems one of those friends will be running against him. As a concerned citizen, I will be MOOOOOORE than happy to provide my new employer with all of the internal and external documents proving ever, single allegation I made. Booyah! I hope my new boss uses every, single one to burn Spitzie, at the polls. Funny part is, all Todd had to do was take these documents, tell me he would look into it, pay the 800 dollar claim for my lost pay, and this would have been over years ago. Instead, they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, for what? To try and discredit an entry level employee? I think Spitzer suffers from a host of mental illness that makes him unfit for office, including Grandiose Personality Disorder, with paranoia and violent tendencies thrown in. Maybe he should be the one who has to spend sixteen hours with a shrink baring his entire life. Putz…

          • Debby Bodkin

            Congrats! Best of luck to you–sounds like you deserve good things to come.

          • Jacki Livingston

            Even better news…are you ready? I got a letter today that the state review ethics advisory committee have approved my request for an investigation into Spitzer’s wife and client/close friend for their conduct on my worker’s comp case. Victory is mine! Whoot, whoot!!!!

          • Debby Bodkin

            That is great news and maybe, just maybe, someone in the OC will be held for legal, financial, personal and political conflicts of interest. Sometimes I wonder if DA Rackauckas, Kang Schroeder and Spitzer even attended law school courses relating to federal and state conflict of interest statutes. Based on their actions during the past 10 years, and my personal experiences, it appears that federal/state conflict of interest, obstructions of justice and conspiracy statutes were never mastered by those leading Orange County government and law enforcement.

            Please be safe….. you and/or anyone in your family does not need to be poisoned in a public restaurant and/or some other unexpected “accident”.

          • Jacki Livingston

            I don’t know what Santana’s complaining about. He plays quid pro quo games with Spritzer all the time. He trades stories for goodies.

  • David Zenger

    The story is really funny because Spitzer is so freakishly fixated on (good) publicity, and it would appear he tried real hard for a while to make sure this one didn’t get out.

    Even funnier is the true implication of Todd’s new and improved version. Herein:

    “With deputies en route, Spitzer went to his car and retrieved his gun and handcuffs.

    “After I returned … Castellano got up and assertively came again toward me,” Spitzer said. “He had been seated in the booth with the manager telling him to leave the premises. It was only then that I asked him to stop and sought his permission to search him because he was scaring patrons who were leaving and I became very concerned for our safety.”

    So Sptizer went and got his loaded gun and brought it into the restaurant BEFORE Bible Boy even got “asserive.” That means his actions were still reckless and bizarre, anf HE was the one who put the public at risk. See? Same story.

    I still would like to know how someone so gosh darn scary permitted himself to be docilely cuffed by Officer Todd, all lamb-like. This story never added up.

    DA in 2018? Don’t we already have enough problems with that department?

    I remain dismayed at what I consider the actions of an unhinged individual.

    • Steve W.


    • I’m surprised it didn’t say, “…in the face of insurmountable odds, he placed himself in danger to protect the women and children…”

      • David Zenger

        .”..and he has subsequently been offered membership in the Justice League of America.”

        Bam! Pow! Wham!

        • SpitzMan…guess what his super power is…

          • David Zenger

            Hmm. Hyper-inflated ego?

          • Jacki Livingston

            Would that make him a Captain America or Hulk? Methinks he is a bit more Loki, without the charm.

    • LFOldTimer

      I’m very surprised at Spitzer’s judgment here. He’s no dummy. It makes me wonder what the heck he was thinking. He’s a public figure. Walking into a restaurant with handcuffs and a gun to mess with a bible thumper is just asking for trouble and bad press. Since OCSD knew it was a supervisor who made the 911 call I suspect the response time was made with lightening speed. If the guy was truly causing a public disturbance let the cops deal with it. Just bizarre. Maybe he wasn’t peddling Spitzer’s brand of religion? Oh, it’s very strange that Mr. Thumper remained incognito or at least buried from the media. To my knowledge he was never interviewed by TV or print reporters.

      • David Zenger

        “Oh, it’s very strange that Mr. Thumper remained incognito or at least buried from the media. To my knowledge he was never interviewed by TV or print reporters.”

        No, somebody found him last time around. And, remarkably, he said he barely remembered the event. Now this is a completely outrageous whopper for anyone to believe. You suffer the humilation of getting handcuffed, and maybe frisked in a public restaurant by some oleaginous stranger that you were trying convert to Jesus, you get detained by the cops…and you can’t remember anything just five months later?

        Spitzer seemed to know quite a bit about Mr. Thumper last go round, too, given the fact that the latter was released, uncharged. It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Mr. Thumper has been paid off to keep his mouth shut about the whole embarraqssing affair.

        • LFOldTimer

          I agree. That just adds another layer of stink to the story that wasn’t addressed in this article. A personality bold enough to approach strangers in public and sell Jesus is not consistent with someone who would walk away after his civil freedoms were violated. I’m not privy to the media report you referenced. Did he discuss the incident in detail or just make a few cursory remarks? A decent reporter would have posed a dozen questions. A reasonable person would wonder if a backroom deal was cut. None of this makes any sense. With Spitzer’s extensive background is law and politics and his high-profile stature in state and county affairs, it just floors me that he would create a problem like this for himself. I realize that politicians are human and are subject to life problems like everyone else. But there’s a big difference between life bringing on the problems and the host seeking them out.