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Peter Van Cleef Clarifies His Story; Says He Was With Mayor Later But Not When Incident Occurred

I went again to talk with Peter Van Cleef, the mercurial owner of Cafe Van Cleef, who orginally claimed he was with Mayor Jerry Brown when the reported conflict between he and an African American woman took place early Sunday morning.

On my second visit Van Cleef told me that while he was with Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown, it was after the nightclub occurence. He now says didn't see the reported altercation between the Mayor and the patron in front of "17" , the dance club in downtown Oakland. Remember, he specifically stopped me to explain that he was with the Mayor. I'm glad I went back to make sure.

He said he talked to Gil Duran, who claimed the Mayor's innocence. But Duran works directly for Jerry, and it is his job to protect his boss reputation and image. I know this, having served as Economic Advisor to Mayor Elihu Harris, and then for Jerry when I worked to bring the 2005 Super Bowl to Oakland. You back your boss, sometimes even when he's not backing you. (Though I drew the line with Jerry on October 26, 2000, but that's another story.)

This means there may be no credible third-party witness at this point. The persons who saw the event were on one side or the other.
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