Phil Regan (actor)

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Philip Joseph "Phil" Regan (May 28, 1906 – February 11, 1996) was an American actor, who later served time for bribery in a real estate scandal.

Regan worked as a detective on the NYPD, before his singing was overheard by a radio producer at a party. This earned him the nickname "The Singing Cop". Regan went on to headline musical comedies at both Republic and Monogram studios. He retired in the mid-1950s. After retiring, Regan spent his time in his Palm Springs and Santa Barbara houses. He and his wife, Josephine Dwyer Regan, had four children and 19 grandchildren. Regan dabbled in politics, endorsing Ronald Reagan for governor of California in 1966 against incumbent Pat Brown.[citation needed]

In 1972, he became involved with a developer named Halimi, who had created successful developments at Lake Tahoe and elsewhere. Halimi had purchased the option to develop a large coastal property on More Mesa in Santa Barbara, California, which required a permit from Santa Barbara County. He was aware that three of the five supervisors were in favor but he wanted to find a fourth vote for Halimi to avoid an appeal. He approached Frank Frost in December 1972. Frost had just been elected to the Board of Supervisors and would take office in January. Frost perceived that an attempt at bribery was being arranged and reported his suspicions to the county district attorney and sheriff. A "sting" was planned and Regan passed $1000 to a friend of Frost's who posed as a go-between. Testimony at Regan's trial established that he had promised an additional $5000 for Frost's vote. Regan was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to two years in prison. He was released after one year. The formerly friendly supervisors made a good show of indignantly voting down the development of More Mesa.[citation needed]

Death[edit]

Upon his release, Regan returned to Santa Barbara. His wife of 70 years, Josephine (née Dwyer), died in 1994. Regan died on February 11, 1996, aged 89. They are interred in Santa Barbara's Calvary Cemetery.[1]

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