The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office has resolved licensing charges filed against the business of local resident Paul Pearson, Wild Electric Custom Cars.
The city prosecutor asked the court to dismiss charges against Pearson’s business on June 9th after Pearson applied for a city business license and resolved his California Department of Motor Vehicles citation, a city attorney spokesman said.
In December, the DMV cited Pearson for selling and retrofitting cars without the license required under state law. The DMV had learned that Pearson’s Web site offered to manufacture electric cars for consumers and also to retrofit vehicles.
The citation was based on an inspection of Pearson’s garage and his offer to convert a car to electric for $18,000.
“Santa Monica is a known leader in promoting and using alternative energy, including our own fleet of electric vehicles,” said Deputy City Attorney Gary Rhoades. “The last thing we want to do is hinder the development of electric cars.
“However, the city is also committed to protecting consumer rights,” Rhoades added. “This is extra-important in new areas like alternative energy, where people know less about the businesses.”
The Santa Monica police and code compliance departments had also received complaints from Pearson’s neighbors that he was operating a business out of his residential garage, Rhoades said. City officials found that Pearson was allegedly operating a business without a business license and a garage in an area not zoned for such.
Pearson was charged with operating the business without the required licenses last December.
The compliant was dismissed after Pearson applied for a municipal business license and agreed not to engage in the manufacturing and sale of vehicles without getting a state license.
While the case was pending, Pearson applied for his business license on May 15th, two days after the court commissioner warned that no further postponements would be granted.
Last month, the DMV changed its policy and stated that the retrofitting of cars no longer requires a state license.