Councilman files complaint against teacher after alleged ‘chest-bumping’ incident
Costa Mesa City Councilman Steve Mensinger has filed a conduct complaint against an Estancia High School English teacher following an altercation between the two at a weekend community run.
The teacher, Joel Ruben Flores, has accused Mensinger of "chest-bumping" him after he confronted the councilman about the city's decision to lay off more than 200 city employees. He filed a police report alleging assault and battery.
Flores' account is that Mensinger boxed him in, yelled at him, and at one point pressed his weight against him. In addition, the teacher said that the councilman "chest-bumped" his right shoulder.
Mensinger said Flores confronted him Saturday on an athletic field at Estancia, boxing him in and making verbal threats. He said the teacher's behavior made him feel uncomfortable and filed a complaint Monday with the Newport-Mesa Unified School District. He denied that there was any physical contact between the two.
Flores is active in Repair Costa Mesa, a group opposed to the layoff plans. He and his wife have also appeared in ads supportive of the city employees. The argument over fiscal reforms has reached a fever pitch, with a City Council majority and employee associations regularly clashing over the plan.
--Lauren Williams, Daily Pilot / Times Community News