Bob Filner Resigns in Settlement with San Diego

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Update 6:45 p.m.: On Friday, Bob Filner offered his resignation as mayor of San Diego as part of a negotiated deal between the politician's legal team and the city. The city accepted his resignation effective August 30, 2013. Speaking before the council, Filner offered a "deep apology" for his part in the scandal, before moving on to an apology to his supporters, who cheered in the meeting room in response. He also apologized to his former fiancee. 

Then, Filner addressed the allegations against him — eighteen accusations of sexual harassment from — by comparing them to "the hysteria of a lynch mob." He said: "In a lynch mob mentality, rumors become allegations, allegations become facts, facts become evidence of sexual harassment." 

Before the closed vote by the council to accept Filner's resignation, 40 city residents, speaking for a minute each, participated in a public comment period. The comments were a mix of support for the mayor and praises for his impending resignation. Filner was the first progressive mayor of San Diego in decades, and several Filner supporters seemed to believe that the accusations against him were part of a conspiracy by his political opponents to remove him from office. In a recent poll, however, 81 percent of city voters wanted the mayor to resign. 

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That means that 35-year-old Council President Todd Gloria will temporarily take over as the city's mayor starting in September. But his tenure as an interim mayor won't be anything like that of an elected mayor in the city. His powers will be limited by the city charter. He can't veto bills, but he will have limited supervising powers over the mayor's staff and city affairs. The City Council has to call a special election, to be held within 90 days, to replace the mayor. 

According to U-T San Diego, the recall campaign against the mayor pledged to continue collecting signatures until organizers are sure that Filner absolutely can't return to office. 

Original post: San Diego Mayor Bob Filner signed a resignation letter on Friday, ahead of the City Council's consideration of a mediated deal between the troubled mayor's lawyers in the city. That deal, according to multiple reports, would let the mayor offer his resignation in exchange for a resolution to mounting legal troubles stemming from a series of sexual harassment allegations. A deal would also end the drawn-out public spectacle of a recall effort already mounted in the city. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, which first reported the news of Filner's signed letter, the negotiated deal between the city and Filner's lawyers includes a settlement for any future potential legal fees and damages. That should address any financial fallout for the city from a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Irene McCormack Jackson (the mayor's former communications director) against Filner. But Filner's lawyers have already insinuated that they were ready and willing to argue that the city itself bears some responsibility for Filner's actions: apparently, the mayor never received the sexual harassment training required of all city employees. 

The City Council meets at 1 p.m., Pacific Standard Time, to consider the deal. Should the proposal gain city approval, Filner is then expected to resign. Eighteen women, including three former employees, have accused the mayor of sexual harassment. Filner, 70, became the mayor of San Diego at the beginning of 2013, after two decades in Congress. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.