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City council hopeful Gabriel Orozco has been convicted of driving under the influence five times dating back to 1994, court records show.
Orozco was first charged with DUI on Oct. 24, 1994, according to records obtained from Los Angeles County Superior Court. He was convicted and the case was closed Dec. 23 of that year.
A second DUI charge came April 30, 1998. In that case, he was convicted of driving with a blood alcohol level above the .08 legal limit, records show.
Separate DUI charges were filed Oct. 25, 2006; June 9, 2008; and June 30, 2010. He was convicted in all cases, according to court records.
In the 2008 case, Orozco was also charged with driving on a suspended license and providing a false identification to police, but those charges were either dismissed or not prosecuted.
The status of Orozco's driver's license was not immediately clear.
Orozco declined to comment when reached by telephone. But in a statement he claims to have quit drinking and attributed at least some of the charges to his former career as a professional baseball player.
"I understand that they're stretched out over [a] 20 year period and the laws about drinking have become much more stringent after 2000," Orozco's statement said. "As a professional athlete, I liked to celebrate victories. I liked to have a good time at parties among friends. But getting married recently and earning my degree, have changed my outlook. I've stopped drinking and reevaluated my life and my priorities. That's why I want to run for office. If I can make positive changes in my life, I can do it for my community.The future is more important than the past."
The Patriot is in the process of researching the criminal backgrounds of all city council candidates.