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October 20, 2000|Raul Gallegos, (714) 520-2512

Councilman Chris Lowe denied accusations from two businessmen that he inappropriately used the city's seal in letters, mailed to citizens, to seek financial support for council hopeful Judy Dickinson.

Glenn Baldwin, president of Excalibur Excursions, and Thomas Babcock, president of Western Biomedical Enterprises, demanded that Lowe address their concern Tuesday during the City Council meeting. Babcock also mailed a formal complaint to Mayor Michael L. Maertzweiler regarding the issue.

Lowe argued that he had consulted with City Atty. Carol B. Tanenbaum to make sure he was not acting inappropriately, and he said she had given her approval. Lowe is not running for reelection.

The mailing asked recipients to support Dickinson. It included an envelope that Babcock and Baldwin took as a hint to send money. Maertzweiler said the letterhead was not the city's official one.

Maertzweiler told the businessmen during the meeting that the issue would be handled at another time.

Lowe said Tanenbaum gave him authorization to use the city seal as long as he included a disclaimer that everything in the letter was his own opinion.

The letter displays a message at the end of the page that reads: "This letter was not printed at taxpayers' expense and represents an individual opinion."

Dickinson is bidding for one of the seats held by Council members Maria Moreno, Maertzweiler and Constance Underhill. Moreno said she believes the matter needs to be discussed with the city attorney.

"I want the council to take some action so future council members don't abuse the seal and mislead people," Moreno said.

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