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Tito Ortiz filed for unemployment despite Mayor Pro Tem job, owning two businesses

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Ortiz filed for unemployment in February. His first day of work on Huntington Beach City Council was December 7.

Tito Ortiz - Premiere Of Sony Pictures’ “Bloodshot” - Arrivals
Tito Ortiz on the red carpet in 2020.
Photo by Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage

According to the Orange County Register public records show that UFC Hall of Famer and current Huntington Beach Mayor Pro Tem filed for unemployment with the California Employment Development Department on February 22. This is despite Ortiz being elected to Huntington Beach city council last November and being sworn in on December 7, 2020.

On his unemployment application, under a section regarding reasons for leaving previous job, Ortiz wrote “Still working part-time or on-call – related to the coronavirus (COVID-19).”

Huntington Beach city council members work part-time for the city and receive stipends and expense allowances. These payments have not been interrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pay checks go out to city council members every two weeks. They include the stipend of $81 and expense allowance of $698 for a total of $779.

In addition to his part-time role on the city council Ortiz owns two businesses in Huntington Beach; Punishment Athletics clothing store and Punishment Training Center gym. OC Register reports that Ortiz owns a home in Huntington Harbour valued at $4 million.

Punishment Training Center, located on Transistor Lane, would have been affected by California’s COVID-19 restrictions. On March 14 NBC Los Angeles reported that Orange County gyms could re-open at 25% capacity.

The Punishment Athletics physical store on West McFadden Avenue would have been closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, those restrictions would not has affected that business’ ability to make online sales.

According to Punishment Athletics Facebook page the company has been offering products for sale during the pandemic. On December 31 that account posted a message informing followers of a New Year’s sale.

Last June Ortiz secured a relief loan of $32,292 as part of the United States’ Paycheck Protection Program. That program was set up for businesses affected by the pandemic.

That loan was secured for a corporation named Tito Ortiz & Triple JJJ Enterprises, LLC.

FederalPay.org calculated that, based on the size of Ortiz’s company’s PPP loan, the corporation’s 2019 payroll expenses can be estimated to at least $155,002. That source also claimed that, since the PPP loan application stated the corporation had two employees, the average yearly compensation for those employees was $77,501.

In the PPP loan application the corporation stated that it intended to use the loan to cover $27,772 in payroll, $120 in utilities and $4,400 in rent.