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4. Regarding John Peavy, he handed the envelope back to Montero, rather than to Betti, and addressed his comments to Montero.

5. Regarding Betti's cooperation with the FBI agents, it is important to explain the circumstances that led to her brief period of cooperation. It was only after the agents coerced, isolated and threatened Betti with a jail sentence that she reluctantly agreed to cooperate with their entrapment efforts; her agreement was short-lived and she soon refused to have anything further to do with the agents.

6. In your most recent story, "Roots of the Sting" [#by Brian Wallstin, May 23], you incorrectly stated that Betti offered councilmembers cash payments in exchange for their support of two clauses the Cayman Group investors wanted added to the city contract. Betti did not offer cash payments in exchange for any type of support. That is obviously what the FBI wanted to occur, but Betti did not make such a suggestion to the councilmembers nor did she say anything that could be construed as offering money for support.

The tragedy of this ill directed "sting" operation is not just the damage it has done to Betti's reputation and the trust she enjoyed with public officeholders, but the jeopardizing of a worthwhile and much needed civic revitalization of the downtown area, assisted in large part by the minority community. Thanks for your sensitive treatment of this issue.

Dick DeGuerin
Houston

Editor's note: DeGuerin is an attorney for Maldonado, who has not been charged with any crime in the FBI sting. The Press stands by its stories.

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