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If you read the mayor’s remarks at his press conference today, you’ll notice that they’re pretty well written.

But the effect of his event today appears to be turning into a public relations mess for him.

Look at what the Union-Tribune put up on its website as the news from it:

Look at that: “State to probe corruption allegations.”

To the casual reader, it could appear that City Attorney Mike Aguirre’s allegations about the mayor have now blossomed into a full-scale investigation by state authorities.

So click on that headline and you get to this story:

SAN DIEGO — The state Attorney General’s Office announced Thursday it will investigate corruption charges the city attorney levied against San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders for his handling of the construction of an office tower near Montgomery Field that has been deemed a hazard to aviation.

“In light of the serious allegations and the importance of maintaining public confidence in its elected officials, the Attorney General’s Office will, as you requested, investigate the charges of public corruption,” Chief Assistant Attorney General Dane R. Gillette said in a letter to Sanders.

The investigation will be handled by the attorney general’s San Diego office, according to the letter.

Sanders sent a letter Wednesday to California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr., requesting an inquiry into the charges made by City Attorney Michael Aguirre in a letter to The San Diego Union-Tribune that was published on June 15.

It’s not emphasized at all that the investigation was something the mayor sought and initiated himself.

To clear the mayor’s good name, his team thought it might be a good public relations move to request an investigation into what Aguirre was alleging. But if headlines keep coming up about the mayor being under investigation by the AG, that can’t be the optimum result for his public image. Can it?

Ironically, it was the Union-Tribune‘s Tuesday editorial that undoubtedly pushed the mayor to abandon his higher-ground approach and directly engage the city attorney’s allegations. He may wonder now if that was such a great idea.

SCOTT LEWIS

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