San Diego Mayor Bob Filner accused of harassment may resign today
SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Bob Filner, the embattled mayor of San Diego, is expected to step down Friday, after weeks of growing calls for his resignation and a torrent of sexual harassment claims.
His resignation is dependent on the San Diego City Council accepting a proposed mediation agreement — a matter they’ll take up during a closed session on Friday, an official familiar with the negotiations told CNN’s Lindy Hall.
“It is still our understanding that his resignation is part of the deal that the San Diego City Council needs to sign off on during (the) closed session,” the official said.
The source emphasized that “until that happens, I don’t believe you will see an official resignation.”
Filner’s attorney James Payne said in a statement provided to reporters that an announcement would be following the closed session.
“Due to the confidential nature of mediation and settlement discussions, we are unable to comment or make statements about any of the terms,” the statement said. “A meeting of the City Council is scheduled for (1 p.m. Friday), at which time it is expected that the City Council will vote on the tentative agreement. ”
City Councilman Scott Sherman said he’s ready to review the settlement, CNN affiliate KGTV reported.
“It’s going to be one of those tough, gut-check decisions and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in the agreement,” Sherman said, adding “the quicker (Filner’s) out of office, the quicker it is to get back into city business.”
Sherman said he’ll be looking closely at the details, which could include the city picking up all or part of Filner’s legal bills, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“The business of the city of San Diego is being pushed forward as best we can,” Councilman Kevin Faulconer said, adding that the last seven weeks have been “very difficult” but haven’t stopped the city government from functioning. “We love our city.”
City councilors and others have been reluctant publicly to divulge details on the deal, given the guidelines set by the judge overseeing the mediation talks that took place over three days.
Whatever the final deal is, lawyer Gloria Allred — who represents Filner’s former communications chief Irene McCormack Jackson, who has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against her former boss, and who has spoken alongside several other accusers — said Thursday that she hopes it includes not only his resignation, but no future payments to him for legal fees or otherwise.
“There should be no payoff for Mayor Filner,” Allred told reporters Thursday. “His parting gift should be good riddance instead of a handout.”
Allred said that while she took part in the mediation talks, neither she nor her client signed off on any deal, nor did she have details on it. She stressed that Jackson has not dropped her case against Filner, saying, “Our lawsuit is not settled.”
News of the reported mediation agreement comes after yet another woman came forward to accuse Filner.
Businesswoman Dianne York told CNN that Filner put his hands on her buttocks during a photo opportunity that followed a meeting three months ago. York said there were witnesses to what happened. She said both her advisers and Filner’s were in the room at the time.
York is the 18th woman to accuse Filner of improper conduct.
Jackson quit her job and sued the mayor in July, saying he subjected women to “crude and disgusting” comments and inappropriate touching.
Other women have accused him of touching their buttocks and putting them in a headlock and trying to kiss them, among other allegations.
And amid the storm of allegations, Bronwyn Ingram ended her engagement to Filner. She had campaigned alongside him during his run for mayor, and was known — even though the two weren’t married — as the “first lady” of San Diego before ending their relationship.
But speaking Thursday alongside Allred in her first public comments since the scandal broke, Ingram said she now wants Filner to resign as mayor.
“I’m hopeful that tomorrow will begin a healing process,” Ingram told reporters, “and that attention will return to the needs of the people.”
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