Santa Ana Unified School District Trustee SAUSD candidate Art Pedroza, owner of OC’s oldest political blog,Â filed forÂ a proper business license for his Orange Juice and New Santa Ana blogs on September 22, 2010, according to documents obtained by TheLiberalOC through a public records inquiry with the City of Santa Ana.Â Pedroza has a business license for Pedroza & Associates, hisÂ safety consulting business, but that license, acquired in late 2008, did not include provisions for either of his blogs.Â Pedroza has been operating the Orange Juice Blog since 2004, and the New Santa Ana blog, started in 2009,Â doesn’t even have a registered DBA for the blog name. Bottom line, Pedroza owed back tax license fees to the city of Santa Ana and since the amnesty only covered 2007 to present, meaning Pedroza operated the OJ blog without paying a license fee for three years.
So to paraphrase Pedroza’s criticism of our Managing Editor Dan Chmielewski, who ran a satellite office of his PR firm in Santa Ana without a license but paid in full earlier this month, everytime Pedroza “drove on the streets, drank the water or flushed a toilet in Santa Ana, he was defrauding the taxpayers of the city of Santa Ana.”Â And blogger Sean Mill, who broke the story, used the excuse of “check with the publisher” when asked if the Orange Juice Blog had a business license making him complicit in the business license avoidance by Pedroza.Â Chmielewski recently wrote about paying his back business license fees in full.Â Pedroza, like Chmielewski, is now in compliance with Santa Ana’s business license fee but only after the public records request was made by TheLiberalOC.
The records request was made to determine what type of business entity the OrangeJuiceBlog and New Santa Ana BlogÂ are registered asÂ part of aÂ cybersquatting and trademark infringement lawsuit filed against Pedroza by Chmielewski, the LiberalOC.com and three individuals.Â The lawsuit alleges that in 2009,Â Pedroza tried to exhort money from the plaintiff’sÂ by linking URLs related to their names or buisnesses to gay porn sites, the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) and negative posts written by Pedroza and Mill on the Orange Juice Blog.Â Chmielewski, the LiberalOC blog and Chris Prevatt, Claudio Gallegos and Ryan Trabuco filedÂ their federal lawsuit in February 2010.Â Attempts to settle the case have been unsuccessful and Pedroza ignored a federal court order to turn over requested documents in discoveryÂ as well asÂ a $2500 sanction for legal costsÂ ordered by the judge in the case.
This is another example of Pedroza engaging in the same behavior he criticizes others for.Â But the lack of a business license for a business proudly promoted by Pedroza as the top political blog in Orange County should be a warning to Santa Ana voters.Â
As an SAUSD trustee, Pedroza will be voting on contracts and expenses that affect the financially troubled school district while his own personal finances are in disarray.Â Pedroza’s home in the Santiago Park neighborhood is in foreclosure and is scheduled to be sold at auction in late October.Â He has been sued at least three timesÂ for Credit Card fraud in the past year.Â Will Pedroza’s votes in SAUSD be in the best interests of students and teachers, or in his own financial interests to whatever vendor is willing to buy his vote?