It was a juicy tale about Hawthorne city officials who were alleged to be regulars at a strip club where they told people they were cops.

Former City Manager Jag Pathirana said the accusations last year were false and, as such, part of a political “witch hunt” to undermine him and Hawthorne finance manager Louis Escober's cred.

As it happens the city has decided to settle a claim by Pathirana over the strip-club allegations, according to Daily Breeze.

The paper states that Pathirana claimed “emotional distress” caused by what appears now to be the planting of a political-attack story.

The Breeze states that Councilman Danny Juarez “orchestrated Pathirana's removal last summer” and that Jim Mitsch, Pathirana's replacement, hired a private investigator to look into his predecessor and others.

According to the paper Mitsch then turned over his allegations about the cop impersonation at the Wild Goose in Del Aire to Fox 11 News, which aired them. (The Weekly echoed Fox's piece, attributing the allegations to the station's reporting).

But both Pathirana and Louis Escobar say the accusations are false.

Pathirana subsequently lost side jobs in Inglewood and South Gate as a result of the Fox report, he says.

Escobar tells the Weekly that reports “falsely stated we impersonated police officers” and that they amount to “character assassination.”

He says the city of Hawthorne also settled with him.

Pathirana's settlement is believed to be worth “about $150,000” according to the Breeze.

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