Mediation on San Diego Mayor Bob Filner’s future ends; council to vote
SAN DIEGO -- The mediation over the sexual harassment lawsuit against San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has been completed, and the City Council will vote Friday on a proposal that could end the six-week saga, according to City Atty. Jan Goldsmith.
At issue in the mediation talks was the possibility of Filner’s resignation in exchange for the City Council agreeing to pay some of his legal fees and potential damages from a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him by his former director of communications.
Late Wednesday night, an aide to a City Council member posted a video of Filner loading boxes into an SUV parked outside City Hall, reportedly after cleaning out his office and saying farewell to his staff.
The end of the mediation had come earlier Wednesday evening after three days of closed-door negotiations between Filner, his attorneys, Goldsmith and two City Council members, and overseen by retired federal judge J. Lawrence Irving, who donated his time.
All nine council members and numerous other officials have called for Filner’s resignation, and a recall effort is underway. Goldsmith said last week that he was developing an “exit plan” for the mayor.
On Monday, Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred and her client Irene McCormack Jackson also the first of the mediation sessions.
Details of the proposal were kept under wraps Wednesday night, even from council members who were not in attendance at the session. Friday’s vote will be taken in a closed session.
More than a dozen women in recent weeks have accused Filner of sexual misconduct, including inappropriate touching. Another woman came forward earlier Wednesday.
Recall leader Michael Pallamary said Wednesday night that the recall will continue “until a resignation has been tendered by Filner.”
Filner, 70, was elected in November, the city’s first Democratic mayor in two decades. Almost immediately his confrontational, abrasive style resulted in friction with City Council members and business leaders.
Filner made a brief appearance at City Hall to talk to his staff Wednesday afternoon before returning to the last mediation session. He refused to answer questions from reporters.
“Nice to see you guys,” he told reporters.
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