Lompoc City Councilman Jim Mosby and his wife have accused Mayor Bob Lingl of threatening Mosby’s life at a city event last month, an incident that sparked an investigation by the Lompoc Police Department.

The dispute stems from the July 21 Old Town Market celebration, at which Lingl and Mosby worked together at a city booth. Mosby alleges that Lingl was asked by an attendee at the event what he would like to do about an issue related to the city budget. In response to that question, Mosby said Lingl formed his fingers like a gun, pointed them at Mosby and said “I’d like to shoot him in the head.”

The incident was made public in an Aug. 3 post on a Lompoc Facebook forum by Audrey Mosby, who is married to Jim Mosby. She noted in the post that Jim Mosby filed a police report at her insistence. Lompoc Police Chief Pat Walsh released a statement later on Aug. 3 confirming that the Lompoc Police Department — as well as City Manager Patrick Wiemiller and City Attorney Joe Pannone — was notified about the incident on July 22.

“A brief investigation was initiated, and the Lompoc Police Department determined that no crime occurred,” read a portion of Walsh’s statement. “This investigation was documented. The Lompoc Police Department considers the matter closed.”

Lingl was very concise Monday when asked for comment on the situation.

“The only comment I have is that I will keep allowing Jim Mosby and his wife to continue to make fools of themselves,” he said. “That’s the only comment I have.”

In Audrey Mosby’s Facebook post, she said she encouraged her husband to go to police “because I was concerned and wanted it in writing just in case. You never know anymore.”

On Monday, Jim Mosby confirmed that he confronted Lingl about the comment. He said Lingl told him that the comment was meant in jest and that Lingl claimed he was referring to using a toy marshmallow gun, similar to items that were being given out a nearby booth.

Still, Mosby said he was uncomfortable with the comment.

“There’s some things you do not say,” Mosby said. “Some things are not a joke."

Mosby pointed to the June 14 shooting of Republican House majority whip Steve Scalise and four others during a congressional baseball practice in Virginia, among other recent shootings.

“I guess there’s a level of disconnect and maybe he doesn’t understand what’s going on in today’s times,” Mosby said of Lingl. “Maybe he’s just disconnected and he’s not catching it. In today’s times, you don’t joke about that. The days of kids running around shooting cap guns are over. The Wild West is over.”

Mosby said he likely would have brushed the comment off as simply rude if not for his wife insisting that he go to police.

“In my situation I looked at it one way, but looking at it through the eyes of my wife, she was highly offended,” he said. “My wife is highly protective of me. She told me that (Lingl) is just a bully and she was wanting him to apologize for the comment.”

Jim Mosby said Monday that Lingl has not apologized for the alleged remarks.

Lingl, who was first elected mayor in 2014, and Jim Mosby have found themselves on opposite sides of city issues throughout Mosby’s term as a councilmember, which began in 2014 when he took over Lingl's vacant council seat. Most recently, Mosby and Lingl have disagreed on nearly every aspect of the city’s 2017-19 biennial draft budget, which has been under deliberation since May 2.

The next Old Town Market, slated for Friday, will be themed visual arts night and will feature a wine tasting. The next regular meeting of the Lompoc City Council is scheduled for Aug. 15.

Jim Mosby said he’s hopeful Lingl will apologize for the comment.

“When you screw up, you gotta man up,” Mosby said. “You apologize and you move forward. But I don’t think he thinks he did anything wrong.”

Willis Jacobson covers the city of Lompoc for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @WJacobsonLR.

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