The Santa Monica Daily Press has won a lawsuit filed by a local woman accused of harassing tenants.

Santa Monica resident Patricia Anglano, who stated in court she is also known as Tricia Anglano, filed a small claims suit against the Santa Monica Daily Press, the Santa Monica Lookout and the Canyon News. She claimed that publication of a news story of a settlement between Anglano and the City of Santa Monica defamed her and sought $10,000 from each publication.

The City of Santa Monica filed a lawsuit against Anglano in 2018 alleging that “Anglano engaged in an elaborate scam against more than ten people who responded to online ads to rent a room in her Santa Monica apartment,” according to the City’s statement at the time. According to the City’s complaint, Anglano first extracted money from applicants for the room, and then, once their checks were deposited, subjected them to bizarre and harassing behavior designed to make them flee the apartment – or never move in.

The City said Anglano was accused of threatening applicants with bodily harm, making false accusations to the police and the applicants’ employers, invading applicants’ privacy, taking away the use of the kitchen, living area, or other amenities, warning applicants not to tell anyone about the rental and demanding that applicants immediately vacate the apartment.

Under the terms of the settlement, Anglano was prohibited from advertising a rental for regular or short-term use, leasing or sub-leasing a space to another person or receiving any payment/compensation related to renting a space.

In court, Anglano falsely claimed her case had been sealed, the City’s press release regarding her case had been removed from the city website, that Chief Deputy City Attorney Adam Radinsky was not the Chief Deputy City Attorney, and that the defendants had been paid to promote the story online.

The news release is still available online, Radinsky was the Chief Deputy City Attorney and the Daily Press has had no business dealings with anyone regarding the story.

“Plaintiff has not provided evidence to support her contention that the record regarding the City of Santa Monica Judgment pursuant to Stipulation was agreed to be sealed,” said Judge Lisa K. Sepe-Wiesenfeld. “The Consumer Protection Division of the City of Santa Monica as a governmental entity has an obligation to the community to be transparent. The Consumer Protection Division is tasked with protecting consumers from activity the City deems harmful to consumers. Part of their obligations is to inform the public of such activity. Upon review of the stipulation there is no reference to a sealing order or other agreement of confidentiality.”

Anglano previously demanded the City remove its statement from the website and that demand was denied.

“We have reviewed your letter dated September 23, 2021, in which you request that we remove the 2018 press release about the City’s lawsuit filed against Ms. Patricia Anglano, from the City’s website,” said the City’s response. “As we explained before we will not remove the press release as it contains accurate factual information and serves to inform the public about the City’s enforcement matters.”

“This remains an important story to our readers. Consumers need to be protected from alleged scams like this, especially when it comes to housing. The City did their job by prosecuting this case, and we did ours by informing our residents to be aware of this kind of rental scam,” said SMDP Publisher Ross Furukawa.

Claims against the other two publications were also dismissed as was an SMDP request to pay for time spent on the case. 

The Daily Press maintains a policy of writing about lawsuits filed against the company.

editor@smdp.com