I’d call this breaking news, except that everyone knows this is the end game anyway … or at least, everyone but Bob Filner. With an avalanche of lawsuits and graphic sexual harassment claims becoming public and a recall effort under way, there isn’t much else to mediate except the exit strategy:
Two inside, anonymous sources told Team 10 Mayor Bob Filner’s attorneys were in a mediation session Monday morning with City Attorney Jan Goldsmith and LA-based attorney Gloria Allred.
One of Team 10’s sources said the meeting was scheduled for late morning, with no set end time.
Another source said a retired federal judge is presiding over the mediation, which was designed to include a review of a potential resignation by Filner.
No one knows for sure who’s in the meeting. Two city council members are in the building, and may or may not be participating in the talks, but it’s not clear what other business would be more pressing for San Diego at the moment.
Meanwhile, the petition drive to recall Filner will proceed until events make it unnecessary:
Armed with clipboards and pens, volunteers hit the streets of San Diego to collect signatures they hope will lead to the recall of embattled Mayor Bob Filner.
“We’re going to be everywhere. We’re going to be at sporting events. We’re going to be at street fairs, arts shows — you name it, we will be out there,” Dave McCulloch, a recall organizer, told CNN affiliate KFMB on Sunday.
Filner planned to push back with a public campaign today, at least until the mediation meeting took place. It’s in the same kind of taste that Filner’s conduct exemplified, emphasis mine:
But while recall proponents scrambled to procure more than 101,000 signatures by September 26, Filner supporters planned a “We Will Not Be Silent” rally outside City Hall on Monday.
Wow. Just a tad bit Orwellian, eh? The odds of the pro-Filner campaign succeeding in rehabilitating his image are as slim as they are in good taste:
But the outrage is overwhelming. Roughly 81 percent of city residents want him to resign, according to a poll conducted by CNN affiliate KGTV. Another affiliate, KFMB, reported local radio hosts hired skywriters to spell out “Surrender Bob” over areas of the city last week.
Filner has been adamant so far that he would not resign. However, according to CNN, the city attorney might file a restraining order to keep Filner from returning and continuing the “hostile work environment” his harassment creates. That sounds like a long shot, and a bad precedent to set; any city attorney who has a political agenda could run that kind of attack against a duly-elected executive to run them out of office whether the complaints are legitimate or not. However, the threat of it might be enough to get Filner to resign through mediation, if not the probability of success in the recall effort with those poll numbers.