The San Diego city council announced late yesterday that their mediation attempts have produced a settlement of the scandal surrounding Mayor Bob Filner. However, the settlement agreement won’t be announced until tomorrow, leaving plenty of room for speculation:
City officials announced Wednesday night that mediation has resulted in a proposal aimed at ending the scandal that has gripped the city since women began accusing Mayor Bob Filner of sexual harassment.
At issue during the mediation has been whether Filner would resign in exchange for financial assistance in paying his legal bills and any judgment from a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him by attorney Gloria Allred on behalf of Irene McCormack Jackson, Filner’s former director of communications.
The announcement that a proposal had been reached by all sides was made by City Atty. Jan Goldsmith after a third day of mediation.
Goldsmith was flanked by two deputy city attorneys, three attorneys for Filner and two members of the City Council. Filner was not present. Goldsmith said no details would be revealed until the City Council votes on the proposal Friday in closed-session.
This sounds a lot like they found the magic formula to make Filner disappear. With Gloria Allred in the mix, no agreement would be possible that leaves Filner in office — and besides, all nine council members have publicly called for his resignation. That would explain Filner’s absence from the announcement, too, as he’s been insisting all along that he’ll never resign his office.
What changed? The city has refused to pay any of Filner’s legal fees, but that may not have been a sustainable position. The applicable law covers Filner’s costs for any legal issues related to his official duties (unlike in Alaska, which was why Sarah Palin found herself in a financial vise over the bogus ethics complaints). The city argued that sexual harassment didn’t fall under that umbrella, but they may well have lost that argument in court — and it would have just added to the circus, and extended it for months or years longer, too.
Better to pay the legal fees and get rid of Filner, if that’s indeed the agreement. San Diego residents had better hope that Filner didn’t twist their arms to hold the city responsible for the damages in such suits, but even then, the cost might be worth it to get Filner out of office and get city government back to normal.
The LA Times notes one indication that this is truly the end:
Late Wednesday night, an aide to a City Council member posted a video showing Filner loading boxes into an SUV, possibly after cleaning out his office.
Sounds like an exit will be forthcoming.
Update (AP): Confirmed: Bob Filner to harass future women as a civilian.
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has agreed to resign as part of a deal reached this week with city officials, NBC 7 News has learned.
Filner, spotted leaving City Hall with packing boxes Wednesday night, will formally vacate the office following a closed session of City Council Friday, according to several sources.
You don’t see many resignations in disgrace anymore, but the 18th accuser had just come forward and the DNC was planning to vote on a formal rebuke calling on him to quit later this week. And, per Ace, the media was starting to sniff around charges of old-fashioned financial corruption too. The end: