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S. Calif. Gay Mayor Under Guard Following Threats


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S. Calif. Gay Mayor Under Guard Following Threats

by Matt Johns, 365Gay.com Los Angeles Bureau

Posted: November 18, 2005 12:00 am ET

(Chula Vista, California) The openly gay mayor of San Diego's largest suburb is under special protection following a series of threats.

Chula Vista Mayor Steve Padilla came out publicly in July, making the city the second-largest municipality in America with an openly gay mayor. (story)

Last July, in addition to his duties as mayor, he was appointed to the California Coastal Commission, the powerful state agency that oversees development along the state's 1,100-mile coast.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Chula Vista has hired a former police officer who was trained by FBI in special weapons and tactics to guard Padilla.

Dave Kanter, the paper reports, shadows the mayor from the moment he leaves his home until he returns. Kanter has training as a sniper, is a former Marine Corps captain and has a black belt in Shotokan karate.

The city pays Kanter $10,000 a month to protect the mayor.

The Union-Tribune reports that Padilla has received threatening phone calls and letters since taking office. Neither Padilla nor Kanter will say what the threats are, or if they are related to his position as mayor, to his being gay, or his position on the Coastal Commission.

The paper reports that Padilla has not filed any crime incident reports with the Chula Vista Police Department. There are no restraining orders requested by Padilla on file. When the Union-Tribune asked city officials for documents detailing the threats against Padilla the city attorney refused to provide them, citing security concerns.

©365Gay.com 2005


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