I found your June 23 article on Tom Hawthorne and his role on the state Transportation Commission interesting for at least two reasons. First, its prominence and length was surprising inasmuch as the potential conflict of interest suggested by you would have existed when Hawthorne was nominated by Gov. Deukmejian and his appointment approved over 18 months ago. (This was surely considered and dismissed at the time.)
Second, despite obviously extensive reporting time that went into the project not a single individual familiar with Hawthorne or his background was quoted as to whether or not they felt he would put his business interests above those of the citizens of California in voting on matters coming before the commission. Had the reporters done so they would have learned that Tom Hawthorne’s reputation for honesty and integrity is impeccable. He has contributed thousands of hours to volunteer activities in San Diego, most of which have no conceivable benefit to his personal business interests. His involvement on the Transportation Commission is an extension of this unselfish commitment to the betterment of the community.
San Diegans should feel fortunate to have someone with transportation experience making transportation decisions.
ROBERT P. OTTILIE