L.A. Now Live: Latest on San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, recall effort

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner responded this week to a recall effort launched against him.

Join the Times San Diego Bureau Chief Tony Perry at 9 a.m. Tuesday for a live discussion about Filner, the allegations against him and his political future.

Filner, 70, elected in November as San Diego’s first Democratic mayor in two decades, is hoping to ride out a tide of sexual misconduct accusations and demands by fellow politicians and others for him to resign.

Last month, Filner announced he would be in an intensive therapy program the weeks of Aug. 5 and 12. But he reportedly entered the therapy program earlier than announced. He is set to return to City Hall on Monday.

Filner will take “personal time” this week, said a statement from lawyer James Payne, whose Irvine firm, Payne & Fears, is assisting Filner’s defense against a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former staff member.


He will continue therapy “on an outpatient basis,” Payne said.

On Friday, two more City Council members — Marti Emerald and Myrtle Cole, both Democrats — called for Filner’s resignation. Their call for him to resign to “allow the healing of our city to begin” now makes it unanimous: all nine council members want him gone.

Some 14 women have accused Filner of making unwanted sexual advances. One, former communications director Irene McCormack Jackson, has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit in San Diego County Superior Court seeking unspecified damages.

The accusations of the other 13 share a similar scenario: They met Filner at a public event or while asking for his help on a public issue and that he made sexually inappropriate comments, asked them for dates and in some cases kissed or touched them.

A recall movement has been announced and a rally is being planned for Monday to urge Filner to stay away from City Hall.

Also, Filner’s alleged victims are being interviewed by San Diego County Sheriff’s Department investigators and the state attorney general’s office.

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), a longtime ally of Filner, issued an open letter Friday addressed to “Dear Bob,” asking him to resign and to seek long-term treatment.