Negotiations on mayor’s future continue

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – It was unclear when Mayor Bob Filner, accused of
sexual harassment by more than a dozen women, would return to San Diego City
Hall, while closed-door talks about his future in politics continued Tuesday.

City Council President Todd Gloria and Councilman Kevin Faulconer
entered a downtown high-rise Tuesday morning where, on Monday, a mediation session
overseen by retired federal Judge J. Lawrence Irving lasted well into the
evening.

Filner's former communications deputy, Irene McCormack, is suing Filner
and the city, alleging sexual harassment. Her attorney, Gloria Allred,
participated in the talks Monday, but was tight-lipped about the discussion.
Allred said she would not be back today, but that mediation talks would
continue.

Filner, who was not at City Hall Monday but attended the nearby
mediation session, said through his Irvine-based lawyer, James Payne, that he
took a “personal week” last week. Payne has not said when Filner might return
to work.

On Monday, Filner's spokeswoman, Lena Lewis, declined to talk to City
News Service. There was no immediate response to a message today.

The mayor, publicly accused of sexual harassment by 17 women and under
investigation for alleged misuse of city-issued credit cards and shakedowns of
developers, had not been seen in public for about three weeks before Monday.

About 75 of his supporters rallied outside City Hall Monday, calling for
Filner to be afforded “due process.”

One woman defended the mayor.

“I have not been the recipient of sloppy kisses,” the woman said,
referring to accusations that Filner has forcibly kissed some of his victims.

Immigrant rights activist Enrique Morones said Filner was being tried in
the news media or by “a kangaroo court.”

Ex-Councilman Carl DeMaio, who lost the mayoral election to Filner in
November, urged other politicians to use their political resources to support a
recall effort that started Sunday.

DeMaio said some officeholders and organizations that have called on the
mayor to step down have not aided the recall campaign.

“To have elected officials stand on the sidelines, cautiously waiting,
is inexcusable — it's abdication of leadership,” said DeMaio, who plans to
run against Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, next year. “And so I'm calling on
these elected officials to put into action their networks of supporters, their
resources, their campaign committees.”

They can organize events, send emails and advise the recall campaign, he
said.

Recall organizers need to gather about 102,000 voter signatures by Sept.
26 to qualify for the ballot.

All nine City Council members have called on Filner to resign, as have
business leaders and others.

After apologizing for what he called a failure to respect women and for
his “intimidating conduct,” Filner checked himself into a two-week inpatient
behavioral therapy program. The program ended Aug. 10, according to Payne, who
said any further treatment would be on an outpatient basis.

Categories: KUSI