Ex-San Diego Mayor Filner still faces sexual harassment lawsuit

Ex-San Diego Mayor Bob Filner may have avoided jail time Tuesday under a plea bargain with the state attorney general’s office, but he still has to contend with Gloria Allred.

Under the agreement accepted in San Diego County Superior Court, Filner must serve three months of home confinement, undergo mental health counseling and give up most of his mayoral pension. During three years of probation, he cannot vote, serve on a jury or possess a firearm.

In exchange, he pleaded guilty to one felony count of false imprisonment and two of misdemeanor battery. In court papers, Filner’s victims were described only as Jane Doe 1, 2 and 3.

But he still has a legal issue to deal with Allred, who filed a civil lawsuit against Filner on behalf of his former director of communications. The lawsuit on behalf of Irene McCormack Jackson is still pending and the only one filed against Filner.


Allred applauded prosecutors for bringing the charges, and the victims for stepping forward to tell how they had been mistreated by Filner.

“His conduct as the mayor of San Diego was reprehensible, and justice demands that he be punished for the harm he has caused to countless women who trusted and believed in him,” Allred said by email.

Without the plea agreement, Filner could have faced three years in prison for the felony count and one year in jail for each of the two misdemeanor counts.

Under the plea bargain, Filner loses two-thirds of his mayoral pension, measured from the date of his first offense through his resignation. From serving on the City Council from 1987 to 1992, he receives an annual pension of about $10,000. City officials have not yet calculated how much his mayoral pension would be.


“Mr. Filner has a great legacy of achievement as a Freedom Rider, college professor, school board president, congressman and mayor,” his lawyer, Jerry Coughlan, told reporters. “He doesn’t want that legacy to be destroyed by his personal conduct.”

Coughlan repeated his client’s apology to the women Filner mistreated.


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