Filner saga nearing conclusion?

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A proposed settlement to a sexual harassment lawsuit
filed against San Diego and embattled Mayor Bob Filner could be unveiled to the
public as early as Friday afternoon.

The City Council, which has not heard the tentative agreement, will
review the proposed settlement in its closed session meeting at 1 p.m. Friday,
City Attorney Jan Goldsmith told reporters late Wednesday on emerging from a
third and final day of mediation. Immediately after the closed session ends,
council members are allowed to speak about what, if any, actions were taken,
paving the way for agreement details to be discussed.

“The City Council has not heard of this proposal and our process at
City Hall as well as the mediation process requires that we maintain the
confidentiality of the proposal until they have heard of it,” Goldsmith said.
“This is the process we follow. Any rumors you hear about the proposal you may
deem to be untrue.”

The mediation was overseen by retired federal judge J. Lawrence Irving.
It took place in a downtown high-rise Monday, Tuesday and late Wednesday.
Participants included Filner, Goldsmith and Los Angeles-based attorney Gloria
Allred, who is representing Irene McCormack Jackson.

McCormack Jackson was hired as Filner's communications director in
January and filed suit against the city and Filner in mid-July, alleging he
told her she should work without her panties on, that he wanted to see her
naked and that he could not wait to consummate their relationship.

Filner also allegedly demanded kisses from McCormack Jackson and put his
arm around her and dragged her along in a headlock while making sexual remarks.

Allred was expected to give her reaction to the proposed settlement at a
news conference at her Los Angeles office at 1 p.m. today. U-T San Diego
reported that Allred would be joined by Filner's former fiancee, Bronwyn
Ingram, who called off her engagement to the mayor just prior to the start of
the sexual harassment scandal.

City Council President Todd Gloria and Councilman Kevin Faulconer also
participated in the mediation.

Filner's last scheduled public appearance was a July 26 news conference
in which he announced he would enter an inpatient behavioral therapy program.
His lawyer said Filner completed the program earlier this month and continued
treatment on an outpatient basis.

Since McCormack Jackson became the first woman to accuse Filner of
sexual harassment, 17 other women have come forward to allege unwanted
advances, groping or, in some instances, forced kissing from the mayor. The
other women include a retired admiral and two female veterans who say they were
harassed at a meeting for women who had been raped during their military

So far, McCormack Jackson is the only one to file a lawsuit. In it, she
seeks unspecified damages.

Filner has apologized publicly for what he called a failure to respect
women and for “intimidating conduct” but denied his actions amounted to
sexual harassment.

Filner, who is also mired in investigations over alleged misuse of city-
issued credit cards and alleged shakedowns of developers, has rebuffed calls
from all nine City Council members, other officeholders and business leaders to
resign. However, his exit from office was widely reported to be on the table in
the mediation process.

Organizers of an effort to recall Filner continued to circulate
petitions around the city for the fifth consecutive day today. They need to
turn in nearly 102,000 signatures to the City Clerk's Office by Sept. 26 to put
the recall bid before voters.

Recall spokeswoman Rachel Laing said more than 11,000 signatures have
already been collected.

If Filner is ousted, either by resignation or a recall vote, Gloria, as
council president, would become the city's interim mayor and a special election
to find a permanent replacement would be held within 90 days. If no one
receives a majority of the vote, the top two finishers will compete in a

Categories: KUSI