Valdosta Daily Times

National, International News

August 31, 2013

Filner ends tumultuous tenure as San Diego mayor

SAN DIEGO — Bob Filner ended his brief but tumultuous tenure as mayor Friday amid allegations that he sexually harassed women, making no public appearances on a final day that came one week after a defiant farewell speech in which the onetime civil rights activist called himself the victim of a “lynch mob.”

Interim Mayor Todd Gloria said Filner’s last act as mayor was to halt a controversial remodeling of a neighborhood Jack in the Box restaurant. Gloria immediately overturned the decision, saying it exposed the city to litigation.

The former 10-term congressman kept a low profile on last final day, ceding media attention to a mock celebration by accusers who gave him several parting gifts, including a mirror that attorney Gloria Allred said he can look at when asking who’s to blame for his resignation.

Employees in the City Hall lobby said they didn’t see the 70-year-old mayor on his last day. An office receptionist had no comment.

Before the scandal, Filner was true to his reputation as a workaholic. Followers adopted a Twitter hashtag — (hash)filnereverywhere — to chronicle his nonstop pace riding a bicycle to school with children, crashing the podium at the city attorney’s news conference to denounce the speaker’s positions, and marching to protest violence against women.

The city’s first Democratic leader in 20 years turned into a virtual no-show after allegations surfaced last month that he sexually harassed women.

At a news conference, Allred displayed a farewell card that said she looked forward to seeing Filner at a deposition in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by former communications director Irene McCormack Jackson — the first of nearly 20 women to identify herself as a target of the mayor’s unwanted advances. She is the only one who has sued Filner.

Allred was flanked by two other Filner accusers.

“I was a victim, and now I am a survivor,” said Peggy Shannon, 67. Shannon volunteers at the senior citizen information desk in the City Hall lobby and accused Filner of kissing her on the lips, repeatedly asking her on dates, and boasting of his sexual prowess.

Gloria, a Democrat, said he would interview Filner’s staff and hoped to keep most in their jobs. On Thursday, he named McCormack, as she is known professionally, to be his communications director.

“The days of sliding backward are over,” said Gloria, who is weighing whether to run for mayor in a Nov. 19 special election to replace Filner.

Gloria inspected his new office and made brief comments to reporters as he left City Hall. He didn’t speak with Filner on Friday.

“It’s a new day in San Diego,” Gloria said.

The California attorney general’s office has launched a criminal investigation of Filner, and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department has been interviewing his accusers and will deliver its findings to the attorney general’s office for possible prosecution.

Filner leaves office as questions linger about how someone who acknowledged mistreating women for many years — but denied sexual harassing them — could have survived for so long in politics.

Those who know Filner say he might have been more easily exposed as the leader of the nation’s eighth-largest city than as a congressman farther from the spotlight. His behavior also might have deteriorated after being elected mayor.

“There was a flood of community members who now felt welcome at City Hall, who felt welcome in the mayor’s office after years, if not decades, of being shut out,” attorney Cory Briggs said. “The speculation on my part ... is that there were an awful lot of people who wanted an audience with the mayor, and that provided him with an opportunity.”

 

1
Text Only
National, International News
  • AP4507280123 copy.jpg Today in History for Monday, July 28, 2014
    Today is Monday, July 28, the 209th day of 2014. There are 156 days left in the year. 
     

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tentative deal reached on VA reform

    The chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees have reached a tentative agreement on a plan to fix a veterans’ health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays.

    July 27, 2014

  • United States-Libya_Rich.jpg US evacuates embassy in Libya amid clashes

    The United States shuttered its embassy in Libya on Saturday and evacuated its diplomats to neighboring Tunisia under U.S. military escort as fighting intensified between rival militias. Secretary of State John Kerry said “free-wheeling militia violence” prompted the move.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP9607270692 copy.jpg Today in History for Sunday, July 27, 2014

    Today is Sunday, July 27, the 208th day of 2014. There are 157 days left in the year.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • No ticket for Shrek over loud musical, chief says

    A musical being performed in a New Hampshire park has drawn some noise complaints, but the deputy police chief says he’s “not giving Shrek a ticket.”

    July 26, 2014

  • Arizona Execution Dru_Rich copy.jpg Arizona’s McCain: Execution was torture

    U.S. Sen. John McCain says the execution of an Arizona inmate that lasted two hours was torture.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ukraine Plane_Rich copy.jpg US: Russia firing into Ukraine

    Russia is launching artillery attacks from its soil on Ukrainian troops and preparing to move heavier weaponry across the border, the U.S. and Ukraine charged Friday in what appeared to be an ominous escalation of the crisis.
    Russia accused Washington of lying and charged Ukraine with firing across the border on a Russian village. It also toughened its economic measures against Ukraine by banning dairy imports.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP7107260254 copy.jpg Today in History for Saturday, July 26, 2014

    Today is Saturday, July 26, the 207th day of 2014. There are 158 days left in the year.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mideast Iraq_Rich copy.jpg Iraq elects new president amid attacks

    Iraqi lawmakers elected a veteran Kurdish politician on Thursday to replace long-serving Jalal Talabani as the country’s new president in the latest step toward forming a new government. But a series of attacks killed dozens of people and Islamic militants destroyed a Muslim shrine traditionally said to be the burial place of the Prophet Jonah, underscoring the overwhelming challenges facing the divided nation.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hong Kong Shutdown_Rich copy.jpg Hong Kong firms on edge as blockade looms

    As activists vow to shut down Hong Kong’s financial district in protest at China’s attempt to hobble democratic elections in the city, businessman Bernard Chan is preparing for the worst.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results