Valdosta Daily Times

National, International News

August 20, 2013

Lawyer: San Diego mayor in settlement talks

SAN DIEGO — An attorney for a woman suing San Diego’s embattled mayor for sexual harassment said Monday the two sides are in settlement talks but declined to say whether a possible resignation was being discussed.

Lawyer Gloria Allred, who represents Mayor Bob Filner’s former communications director, said a retired federal judge is mediating the negotiations. She added the talks are ongoing and she couldn’t comment further.

It wasn’t known if Filner was present for the talks, but he was seen earlier in the day entering the same downtown office building where the mediation took place.

Allred said she and her client would not be returning Tuesday.

Filner is facing a recall effort prompted by a cascade of sexual harassment allegations that also led the entire City Council and many leading Democrats to call for him to step down.

“He needs to resign,” City Councilman Kevin Faulconer said Monday as he headed into City Hall. “He doesn’t represent us, and he does not represent this city.”

Faulconer was later seen entering the building where Filner was spotted by KFMB-TV in San Diego. The councilman referred questions to the city attorney’s office, which declined to comment.

Filner has been out of the public’s eye for the past three weeks while undergoing therapy.

Steve Erie, a political science professor at the University of California, San Diego, said Filner’s resignation must be part of the discussions. Erie added Filner would benefit from waiting it out, since his pension would spike after serving a year, which would be in December.

“As long as he doesn’t resign, he has leverage,” Erie said. “So stay tuned.”

Allred represents Irene McCormack Jackson, who was the first of more than a dozen women to go public with harassment allegations. Since then, his accusers have ranged from a university dean to a retired Navy rear admiral. Some contend he cornered, groped and forcibly kissed them.

McCormack filed a lawsuit claiming Filner asked her to work without panties, demanded kisses, told her he wanted to see her naked and dragged her in a headlock while whispering in her ear. The latest accuser came forward Thursday — a 67-year-old great-grandmother and volunteer city worker who assists senior citizens.

The accusations have prompted an avalanche of calls for Filner to resign, including from U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer. A recall effort started Sunday.

Hooters restaurants in San Diego even posted signs saying he’s not welcome.

Filner, 70, served 10 terms in Congress before being elected mayor in November. The feisty liberal has long had a reputation for berating employees and has been dogged by rumors of inappropriate behavior toward women. But nothing in his past approaches what has surfaced in the past six weeks.

City Council President Todd Gloria said Filner is not obligated to show up at City Hall but owes the people of San Diego an explanation of his whereabouts. The city’s daily operations have been running fine without Filner, Gloria said, and should the mayor appear it could make female employees uncomfortable.

“Those of us who have called on the mayor to resign know he is not being effective at this time,” Gloria said. “The mayor’s presence is a distraction.”

Filner’s spokeswoman Lena Lewis and lawyer James Payne did not respond to calls.

If Filner should resign, Gloria would step in as acting mayor.

Before going into therapy, Filner asked voters to be patient while he gets help.

He vowed when he returned that his “focus will be on making sure that I am doing right by the city in terms of being the best mayor I can be, and the best person I must be.”

Filner has agreed not to meet with women alone on city business and has delegated broad authority to a new interim chief operating officer.

A few dozen Filner supporters rallied outside City Hall on Monday, engaging in heated arguments with opponents.

The recall effort must collect 101,597 signatures of registered San Diego voters by Sept. 26. If the petition has fewer than that, the recall campaign will have 30 more days to circulate a supplemental petition to gather additional valid signatures.

If enough signatures are validated by the city clerk, the petition will be presented to the City Council, which must schedule an election within 60 to 90 days.

 

1
Text Only
National, International News
  • Boston Marathon Bombi_Rich copy.jpg Questions linger year after Boston Marathon bombs

    A surveillance video shows a man prosecutors say is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev placing a bomb near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, just yards from where an 8-year-old boy was killed when it exploded.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP120401029 copy.jpg Today in History for Tuesday, April 15, 2014

    Today is Tuesday, April 15, the 105th day of 2014. There are 260 days left in the year.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Space Station_Rich copy.jpg NASA OKs space station visit despite dead computer

    NASA is pressing ahead with Monday’s planned launch of a supply ship despite a critical computer outage at the International Space Station, promising the situation is safe.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fatal Shooting Kansas_Rich copy.jpg 3 dead after suburban Kansas City shooting

    A man opened fire outside a Jewish community center on Sunday, killing two people before driving over to a retirement community a few blocks away and killing someone else, authorities said.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Seven Dead Babies Arr_Rich(1) copy.jpg Utah woman arrested after 7 dead babies found

    A Utah woman accused of killing several babies she gave birth to over 10 years was arrested Sunday after police discovered seven tiny bodies stuffed in separate cardboard boxes in the garage of her former home.
    Megan Huntsman, 39, who lived in the Pleasant Grove home until three years ago, had the infants between 1996 and 2006, investigators said.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP110714053482 copy.jpg Today in History for Monday, April 14, 2014

    Today is Monday, April 14, the 104th day of 2014. There are 261 days left in the year. The Jewish holiday Passover begins at sunset.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • APTOPIX Range Showdow_Rich copy.jpg Feds release cows gathered in Nevada roundup

    Federal land managers confirmed Saturday that they released all 400 or so head of cattle rounded up on public land in southern Nevada from a rancher who has refused to recognize their authority.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • APTOPIX Ukraine_Rich copy.jpg Uniformed men occupy Donetsk police HQ

    Men in the uniforms of Ukraine’s now-defunct riot police on Saturday occupied police headquarters in Donetsk, the eastern city that is one of the flashpoints of a wave of pro-Russia protests, hours after armed men seized local police headquarters and a local branch of the Security Service in a nearby city.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Australia Malaysia Pl_Rich copy.jpg Long hunt for missing jet looms as pings go silent

    After a week of optimism over four underwater signals believed to be coming from the missing Malaysian plane, the sea has gone quiet and Australia’s leader is warning that the massive search will likely be long.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP82016106626 copy.jpg Today in History for Sunday, April 13, 2014

    Today is Palm Sunday, April 13, the 103rd day of 2014. There are 262 days left in the year.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

What you think about school and workplace rules about Facebook friends?

There have to be rules.
No need for rules, just use common sense.
If people want to be friends, what is the big deal?
Nobody uses Facebook anymore.
     View Results