EL CAJON, Calif. - Outrage continues in the Chaldean community over comments made by El Cajon Mayor Mark Lewis.
Tuesday evening, he defended those comments to 10News.
"I made those comments but not in that order," he said.
Lewis is referring to comments made to a publication called "The Progressive" last spring in an article entitled "Little Baghdad, California."
He is quoted as saying some Chaldean schoolchildren who receive free lunches are "being picked up by Mercedes Benzes" and that once they come here, "it doesn't take them too long to learn where all the freebies are at."
"I am very disturbed," Chaldean-American Mark Arabo told 10News on Wednesday. He heads the Neighborhood Grocers Association and was born and raised in the East County.
"Instead of saying he's sorry for attacking children and the character of a culture, which he represents, he made it into this political thing about Chaldeans," he said.
There are more than 50,000 Iraqi-Christians, known as Chaldeans in San Diego County. El Cajon has the second largest population of Chaldeans in the United States.
Arabo says the Chaldean community is still waiting for the mayor's apology.