The Ghost in the Machine

Sean H. Mill - Photo: Chris Prevatt/LiberalOC

Sunday’s New York Times Magazine carried a fascinating story about how, once you’re on the web, you can live forever on the Internet.  And that’s a lesson the Sarah Palin is learning as her people work feverishly to scrub comments she’s made on Facebook and Twitter with references like “targeting” and “reloading” in the wake of this weekend’s tragic shooting in Arizona.

Words have consequences.  And it’s alot harder to take back words you’ve spoken once you’ve posted them online, as newly minted Santa Ana Planning Commissioner Sean Mill has tried to do.  Mill is a regular bombthrower for the Orange Juice and New Santa Ana blogs and one quick to label anyone who disagrees with him a “hater.”  Pretty powerful language. 

When confronted with questions at last week’s Santa Ana city council meeting, Mill professed not to know that his BFF Art Pedroza listed him as a partner..a planning specialist..on Pedroza’s for-profit Santa Ana Business Association where Mill’s and Pedroza’s connections to the current city council were promoted to attract businesses seeking favor to join.  We frankly find this pretty hard to believe especially how Mill himself crowed that he and Pedroza were “sitting in the catbird seat” after the last city elections.  And the Santa Ana Business Association website has been up for months. 

Good luck finding that “catbird seat” sentence online because scores of posts written by Sean H. Mill have been scrubbed from the Orange Juice blog and the New Santa Ana blog.  In some cases, posts clearly written by Mill now carry the byline “Admin.”

This begs the question, what is Sean Mill trying to hide?

We sent emails to Mill, Pedroza and Orange Juice publisher/editor/owner in name only Vern Nelson asking that question.  Mill hasn’t responded.  Pedroza declined to comment but added, “I will say however that our writers own their content and can do as they please with it.” 

Nelson was a little more direct, “I’m against giving you any kind of comment while you’re engaged in a lawsuit against Art and the blog.  Except that I’m starting to see why Sean wanted that done.” 

What isn’t clear is who exactly scrubbed the posts; at New Santa Ana, it was either Pedroza or Mill.  And if it wasn’t Nelson at the Orange Juice, then Pedroza, who resigned after being “born-again,” still has administrative access to a blog he’s “given” to Nelson.  And Mill might still has access even though he has resigned from that blog which scrubbed a factual post about crime rates in Santa Ana by Francisco Barragan close to election day because it didn’t fit Pedroza’s narrative for the city council elections (the post has since been restored).

Since no one will explain why the posts were scrubbed, we can only speculate.  Deleting the posts allows Mill to claim “he never said that.” And it provide cover for Councilman Sal Tinajero to not be embarassed by things Mill has written in a public forum (emails and text messages with pretty foul language are quite another matter). 

And while we are on the subject of Councilman Tinajero, I’m told he made a comment about a blog — and many in the crowd believed the comment was directed at us — that ran a photograph of his late father with bullet holes graphically inserted.  I frankly challenge the councilman to produce a copy of said photo.  I just completed a Internet search on Tinajero’s father and the only story I could find was this LA Times piece that contained circumstances of his death.  There are no subsequent stories about the shooter being arrested or on trial. So if the councilman says he saw such an image and inferred it was on our blog, he is mistaken at best and lying at worst.

As Mill is now sworn in, he’s an appointed public official.  And should he continue to carry out his duties as he has in the blogsphere, with verbal threats and promises of physical intimidation, we’ll call attention to it.

  14 comments for “The Ghost in the Machine

  1. January 11, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    “What isn’t clear is exactly who scrubbed the posts.”

    Aye, Dan, there’s the rub, or the scrub. I could have put the word down, or so could have Art, with my knowledge (or conceivably without) down to the OJ’s legions of scrubbers. It would be discomfiting to know that Art still had the wherewithal to do that without my knowledge, but fortunately that does not seem to be the case. Our specific team of scrubbers, C-1, seems to have done the job hastily in response to a careless offhand remark from me. But as this was what the author Sean wanted in any case – given the hellbent bent of some present to embarrass him politically with long-past writings – I let the whole thing pass, and gave the fellows overtime pay!

  2. January 12, 2011 at 8:04 am


    Deleting everything one has written to avoid responsibility for those words is about as effective at changing history as the intoxicated driver telling a police officer pulling him out of the driver’s seat; “I wasn’t driving.”

    The history remains a fact, as does the responsibility for the actions.

    That said, whoever pushed the delete key has done the world a great service by removing Sean’s thoughtless commentary from easy access by innocent bystanders. This public service ranks close in importance to removing a drunk driver from the road by throwing him in jail for a while.

    • January 12, 2011 at 11:00 am

      Well said, freaky-looking dude!

  3. January 12, 2011 at 9:24 am


  4. Santa Ana Voter
    January 12, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Regardless of the outcome in Art Romo’s narcotics trial, he will always have my utmost respect. In fact, the residents of Santa Ana will always owe him a debt of gratitude for his work in bringing peace to our streets. Government and law-enforcement officials have unfairly targeted Romo and other leaders of the United Gang Council from its inception.

    Romo reached out to the troubled youths who had become entangled in the violent world of street gangs. His message resonated with them and gang violence dropped dramatically in Santa Ana. After years of having these issues ignored by our political leaders, and indifference toward the lives and well-being of young Latinos by Chief Paul M. Walters and the Santa Ana Police Department, Romo got results.

    I’ll be pulling hard for Mr. Romo to beat the charges. We need him out on the streets, fighting to improve the quality of life for everyone in our community.

    Sean H. Mill

    Santa Ana

    The above words of support for a convicted drug dealer and gang leader were penned by Sean H Mill just shy of 9 years ago. They were published in the Los Angeles Times here:

    Sean H Mill currently voices his “support” for SAPD Chief Paul M Walters but stated on the record then about Chief Paul M Walters “indifference toward the lives and well-being of young Latinos by Chief Paul M. Walters”

    If Art Romo is such a hero maybe Sean H Mill’s BFF Sal Tinajero can issue a city proclamation for him.

  5. Santa Ana resident
    January 12, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Guys don’t forget to mention that Alfredo Amezcua was not only a supporter of Art Romo and the United Gang Council but he also served as “house counsel” for them.

    Alfredo was a regular at Ruby Tuesday’s and Hankey’s on 17th Street whenever “company” business was being handled.

  6. January 12, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Before the Romo discusson hijacks the thread, the main point here is how statements written can come back to haunt you. I’m sure everyone has some sort of skeleton in their closet.

  7. Santa Ana resident
    January 12, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    You want to stop talking about Art Romo now that it doesn’t fit into your agenda anymore. Clearly you helped further the discussion about Romo by posting the link. Why are you balking now?

  8. Dan Chmielewski
    January 12, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Because the point was made. I didn’t know much about Mr. Romo and that link was more recent that Sean’s letter.

  9. Neale Smull
    January 15, 2011 at 2:18 am

    I’ll always remember Sarah for “Refutiate”

Comments are closed.