ELECTION ‘12//SAN LEANDRO CITY COUNCIL DIST 4 | San Leandro city council candidate Chris Crow on Thursday confirmed on San Leandro Patch, he had a received a citation for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana in 2009.

The existence of the citation was reported Wednesday in The Citizen after San Leandro Police denied Crow a ride-along with officer after the citation, upgraded to a warrant, was discovered in a routine background check. Crow admitted to the ticket and told the online news site,

“I’m sorry that I got this citation (and) I have smoked weed before. It’s not something that I’m proud of. I don’t smoke it anymore.” Crow said he quit smoking marijuana sometime before being appointed to the city’s planning commission by Councilwoman Ursula Reed in 2010.

However, when Crow was asked to comment on the veracity of the report in The Citizen detailing the discovery, he called the allegation “incorrect.” When pressed Thursday over what part of the report was erroneous, he declined to comment.

Crow’s inclination for using the San Leandro Patch site as a de facto campaign web site, featuring clearly targeted policy blog postings, including highly favorable posts from a campaign advisor and even press releases is becoming a cause for concern for the site’s perception of objectivity. At Wednesday night’s candidates forum, Crow went as far as direct voters to his collection of postings on the Huffington Post-owned site.

The muddling of news gathering and public officials is somewhat of a recent and discouraging tradition in San Leandro, where one of the school board’s long-time trustees has written a news blog while treading a fine line between news and government propaganda.

In the Patch article regarding Crow’s pot citation, for instance, the lack of independence is no more noticeable than the lone comment in support of Crow from current Councilwoman Pauline Cutter. “I did not know about the pot incident, but that doesn’t change my opinion,” she told Patch. But, did she tell the reporter Crow use to date her daughter?