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Voice: Setting the record straight about Mendoza

March 01, 2002

This is in response to Mr. Lee Whittle's letter to the editor on Friday. The statements made by Mr. Whittle are false and misleading. Please allow me to set the record straight.

1. "Mr. Mendoza has repeatedly run for sheriff-coroner and lost." The truth is he ran only in the last election, receiving the most votes in the primary and a close second in the run-off.

2. "… he sued the county …" The truth is that a jury in federal court found in Mendoza's favor — which means that justice was on his side and he played by the rules.

3. "… and built a big house." Whittle's implication here is that the money won in federal court was used to build the Mendozas' "big house." The truth is that Stella Mendoza inherited the money that paid for their home. Ernie turned down punitive damages as a gesture of good faith toward the county.

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Mr. Whittle should have checked his facts before making false and hurtful statements. Coffee shop talk is not always accountable and truthful.

JOAQUIN "JUNIOR" RECLOSADO

Retired sheriff's sergeant

El Centro

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