The National City Chamber of Commerce has apologized for getting mixed up in accusations against National City Councilman Jerry Cano.
While waiting to see if her alcohol permit would be approved, the owner of a small market accused Cano in a letter of telling her that the owners of a liquor store across the street who opposed her permit had contributed to his campaign. The implication was that if the woman similarly donated to Cano’s campaign, the woman’s permit might be approved.
Cano denied the allegations in a letter from his lawyer threatening a defamation lawsuit to the market owner, Susana Maza, and to the National City Chamber of Commerce, which had advocated on Maza’s behalf.
His lawyer also denied the allegations to VOSD in an e-mail.
“Mr. Cano never solicited any contribution, monetary payment or other exchange of value in return for his assistance,” wrote Victor Torres, Cano’s attorney.
At public hearings, representatives from the chamber spoke in favor of a permit for Maza’s market, Gama Produce, which was ultimately denied. The letter from Cano’s attorney also said that the chamber’s CEO, Jacqueline Reynoso, had broadcast the accusation from an official chamber e-mail account.