Exonerated this week by the state Fair Political Practices Commission concerning alleged preferential treatment in getting a $2.2-million real estate loan, Chula Vista Mayor Greg Cox said the FPPC's finding lifted a "cloud (that has been) over my head for eight months."
Cox also said he had "lingering suspicions" that a series of articles published by The Times in April detailing the 1985 loan, which Cox obtained from Home Federal Savings for a troubled 123-unit apartment complex in Texas, were based on information from a "politically motivated" source.
The articles disclosed the loan, Cox's failure to report it on his 1985 and 1986 financial interest documents, and his subsequent favorable votes on real estate projects in Chula Vista that were joint ventures of Home Federal and homebuilder Corky McMillin.
In April, Cox amended his 1985 and 1986 financial interest statements to include the loan after learning that The Times was looking into his finances.
At a press conference Wednesday at Chula Vista City Hall, Cox, 39, said he believes that a political opponent fed information on the loan to a political consultant who, he said, then contacted The Times. Cox declined to name either party.