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The Case for Cox

May 24, 1987

As one who grew up with The Times in Los Angeles, I feel the manner in which the San Diego County Edition approached the matter of Chula Vista Mayor Greg Cox's financial disclosure form, both in the news stories and in its editorial, falls far below the standards I have come to expect from the parent newspaper. The coverage would have been expected in a political hit piece, but hardly from The Times.

I have been a member of a school board for almost 12 years and thus file the same financial report and, as a result, can understand how Mr. Cox may have missed listing a loan for out-of-state property. The loan probably should have been listed, so Mr. Cox may be guilty of carelessness, but I am sure he is not guilty of dishonesty.

As to a conflict of interest concerning the housing developments financed by the institution that approved Mr. Cox's loan, I don't understand how it is currently assumed to exist. First, the developments were approved by the City Council prior to Mr. Cox's loan application; secondly, as a member of a group of citizens who were concerned with the previously approved housing density, I met with Mayor Cox, who agreed with us and was instrumental in introducing modifications that resulted in a 10% reduction in the density. In essence, he lowered the value of the property, hardly the actions of a man currying favor with a lender.

I'm sure The Times' stories will be dredged up by whomever runs against Mayor Cox in his next political contest. I feel it is a shame that one of our most honest and able young politicians has had his reputation dirtied by, at best, careless reporting and, at worst, slanted political reporting.

JOSEPH D. CUMMINGS

Chula Vista

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