EDITORIAL: Mayor Cy Sun deserves an apology


Mayor Cy Sun

It’s an underdog story. It’s an American story. It’s a story that illustrates to us that if we work hard, dreams can come true. Unfortunately, the story has an unfortunate footnote.

Cy Sun, 81, is an Asian American veteran with a Purple Heart and a Croix de Guerre. He served during the Korean War before coming back to the United States to settle in Oregon as a farmer. After years of hard, physical work, Sun decided to settle in the small city of Pacific, adjacent to Auburn, in his retirement.

In Pacific, he observed corruption in the city government. He thought it was wrong.

So each day, he walked the two-and-a-half square miles of Pacific, knocking on the doors of his neighbors. It was too late to get his name on the ballot for the November election, but he was determined. Even if it was unlikely, he felt it was possible.

Many of Sun’s neighbors believed in him. When they got their ballots, they wrote his name down on a blank line.

The incumbent mayor was Richard Hildreth. And in November, he lost to Sun by only about 70 votes. It was an amazing feat. No one in the history of Pacific had won by write-in.

Hildreth claimed Sun got the edge by spreading misinformation and deceiving citizens. In his blog, Hildreth wrote, “It is a result that I pray does not come back to haunt the citizens of this great city.”

It was a sign of things to come for Sun.

Negativity continued following him, in the form of city councilmember Gary Hulsey, who accused Sun of lying about his war medals. Hulsey said Sun violated the Stolen Valor Act.

Husley reported Sun to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

On Feb. 23, Sun stood before his constituents and displayed his medals. “I am not a liar,” he said.

The Auburn Reporter obtained documents that confirmed that Sun did earn the medals he claimed.

While he publicly accused of Sun of falsifying his record, Hulsey never publicly offered Sun an apology. Publicly, Husley merely said that it was time to drop the matter and move on.

During the public meeting where Sun displayed his medals to the citizens of Pacific, he talked with emotion about how he had kept his accolades in a cardboard box. He never flaunted them because he said he didn’t believe the medals belonged to him. Rather, they belonged to his comrades who died in combat.

His experience during the Korean War is obviously deeply personal to him. His wife, Barbara, told the Auburn Reporter that there were things that Sun didn’t even reveal to her because they had been so painful to him. He wanted to keep parts of his past private.

To have his record challenged in such a public and insensitive way is a travesty. We hope that Hulsey is ashamed of his actions. Let’s hope that we learn a lesson from this — that we will all think twice before we accuse others of lying. Another important lesson to be gleaned from this is that when we make mistakes, it’s extremely important to own up to them.

We wish Mayor Sun the best of luck in office. (end)

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  11. This is sickening says:

    Something obviously not known is that Mayor Sun’s accuser Gary Hulsey got on KIRO 7 Seattle TV to publicly accuse. What is sickening is Gary Hulsey is a convicted murderer who slaughtered his newlywed wife with a hunting knife some 30 years ago and is actually getting sympathy because he claims it was PTSD not him that did the killing. What a joke. Not only was Mayor Sun falsley accused he was falsely accussed by a murderer! Now and only since this incident came to light can you google Gary Hulsey + murder and get the truth on the accuser. What kind of world is it when a convicted murderer gets air time to accuse a decorated war veteran? Hulsey is a killer and he has an additional record of patronizing prostetutes and now he’s getting sympathy instead of being ostrasized like he should be. Hulsey never served his time. He served 8 short years of a 20 year sentence for the brutal knife slaugher of his wife. There is no restitution for murder. Dead is dead. Now Councilman Gary Hulsey sits on the Pacific WA city council and has access to senior and youth. Where else could a convicted murderer have access to vunerable populations but in Pacific? A convicted murderer is supposed to have his crime HAUNT him for the rest of his life that is part of the cost of taking a life.

  12. William Turnbull says:

    Re: EDITORIAL: Mayor Cy Sun deserves an apology
    It was a refreshing story in that it did not at any point try to paint a racial conflict, which so many stories where minorities are mistreated do. Mayor Sun definately deserves an apology from what I have read and he deserves it as a true veteran and as a true American. I sincerely hope that those who slandered him have the decency to do so.
    Congratulations on a well written article.


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