In Gates Settlement, Public Pays While Supervisors Evade Heat

Consider for a moment Sheriff Brad Gates' conduct before and after the court judgment ("Gates Off Hook in Suit; County to Pay $616,000," Nov. 17). Gates regularly issues permits to wealthy business people, friends and political backers during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

A jury of his peers finds Gates guilty of denying the Ritter brothers their constitutional rights (he denied these licensed private investigators gun permits six times during the same period).

After the judgment is rendered, Gates refuses to admit any wrongdoing. He even boasts that the judge trusts him, despite the fact that he has agreed in the court settlement to pay $616,000 and reaffirm that he will obey his own oath of office.

And in the midst of it all, Gates persuades voters of our fiscally conservative county to reelect him sheriff.

JOHN R. MAITINO, San Juan Capistrano

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