Two months into his first time period as a council member, and together with his town exams nonetheless coming, Huntington Seashore Mayor Professional Tem Tito Ortiz filed an unemployment declare with the California Employment Building Division.
Public data display that Ortiz, whose prison title is Jacob C. Ortiz, sought unemployment advantages on Feb. 22 of this 12 months. Naming town as his employer, he gave his first day of labor as Dec. 7, 2020 – when he used to be sworn in after very easily profitable his seat within the November election. He said that his closing day of labor used to be Feb. 9, 2021, even though he nonetheless serves at the council.
At the portion of the unemployment utility that asks for a “reason why for separation,” Ortiz indexed, “Nonetheless running part-time or on-call – associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19).”
Ortiz didn’t go back calls soliciting for remark.
Council individuals, who paintings part-time, have endured to obtain their stipends and expense allowances all the way through the coronavirus disaster, mentioned Huntington Seashore Town Supervisor Oliver Chi. Paychecks pass out each and every two weeks overlaying a stipend of $81 and an expense allowance of $698 – for a complete of $779. Town officers can also choose to chip in for team medical health insurance.
Chi mentioned he does now not but know if Ortiz’s declare has been licensed.
“Unemployment claims are controlled in the course of the EDD,” Chi mentioned. “Town is notified of claims and we offer asked data. The EDD makes the choice.”
When companies needed to close down because of the pandemic in March of closing 12 months, Congress handed a stimulus reduction package deal that integrated further assist for individuals who misplaced their jobs.
“The American Rescue Plan of 2021 provides $300 in federal finances to every week of advantages thru September 4, 2021,” an unnamed EDD spokesperson mentioned in an electronic mail. “Outdoor of that, a claimant who qualifies for unemployment insurance coverage can be expecting their weekly get advantages quantity to vary from $40-$450.”
The spokesperson mentioned an elected public respectable who loses source of revenue from that place probably may qualify for unemployment advantages.
Ortiz, who made a reputation as a combined martial arts champion, owns two Huntington Seashore companies – Punishment Athletics outfitter and Punishment Coaching Heart health club. He has a area in Huntington Harbour price about $4 million.
Individuals who concurrently have labored for more than one employers don’t obtain more than one exams from the government. “The additional $300 in advantages a week is on a in line with claimant foundation and now not a in line with employer foundation,” the EDD spokesperson mentioned.
Huntington Seashore has endured with its common twice-monthly town council conferences because the get started of coronavirus.
In mid-January, town made up our minds to carry council conferences via Zoom because of the surge in COVID-19 circumstances. Even after cornonavirus numbers fell, five council members voted to keep meetings virtual after Ortiz insisted he would not wear a mask inside City Hall. “I’ll display up and do my activity,” Ortiz mentioned on the March 29 assembly. “And if I am getting escorted out via police that’s you guys’ selection.”
Such antics time and again have landed Ortiz in sizzling water – or, no less than, in viral movies.
At his swearing in, Ortiz referred to as the pandemic the “plandemic,” in connection with the debunked perception that its risk has been cynically exaggerated. Simplest days later, Ortiz spoke at a “stop the steal” pro-Trump rally where he told fans, “I ain’t taking that (coronavirus) vaccine – hell no!”
In January, he posted a video on social media blasting a popular Huntington Beach hamburger joint for refusing to serve him until he placed on a masks. After that incident, 3 council individuals authored a proposal to strip Ortiz of his mayor-pro-tem title – however the schedule merchandise in the end fizzled. Ortiz later apologized for denigrating the eating place.
California’s employment division has encountered its personal issues all over the coronavirus disaster. In January, officers showed that greater than $11 billion in unemployment advantages paid all over the pandemic contain fraud.
In keeping with the EDD spokesperson, the company is operating “to 0 in on authentic claimants and weed out scammers.”
“EDD continues to spouse with federal, state, and native government in combating the paintings of scammers assaulting unemployment insurance coverage systems around the nation,” the spokesperson mentioned.
“We’re dedicated to combating the incidence of fraud so our treasured assets can also be devoted to employees legitimately short of unemployment advantages once they lose their activity or their hours are decreased thru no fault of their very own.”
The appliance comprises language geared toward combating other people from submitting bogus claims: “The solutions you give to the questions in this utility will have to be true and proper. You can be topic to consequences if you’re making a false remark or withhold data.”