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Mayor Sanders Calls for Investigation of Blackwater’s Permits in Otay Mesa

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders today called for an investigation into how the city granted permits to Blackwater USA to open a military training center in Otay Mesa. The facility will be used to train Navy sailors and possibly the Coast Guard in counterterrorism. KPBS Reporter Amita Sharma has more.

Sanders asked his chief operating officer Jay Goldstone to conduct an investigation into the permits Blackwater has received so far. The announcement of the probe comes less than a week after Congressman Bob Filner asked Sanders publicly to look into why Blackwater received a city permit to operate as a vocational trade school.

The company submitted the application for the permit under the name of subcontractors Southwestern Law Enforcement and Raven Development Group. Filner said the secrecy under which Blackwater contracted its facility causes great suspicion and distrust.

Sanders wants the city's review of the Blackwater permitting process to include whether San Diego planners followed the law in issuing the permits and consulted with the city attorney. He also wants to know if the project was properly classified as a trade school.

The investigation is expected to be complete by May 23rd.

Amita Sharma, KPBS News.

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