Mayor wants legal fees paid by city

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner's private lawyer
has asked the City Council to publicly fund his defense against sexual
harassment charges, according to city documents made available this week.

An updated agenda for a special closed session meeting of the City
Council scheduled for late Tuesday afternoon includes the request from lawyer
Harvey Berger.

Seven women have publicly alleged that Filner has groped them, tried to
kiss them, made unwanted advances and sexually charged remarks.

One, former mayoral Communications Director Irene McCormack Jackson,
hired high-profile Los Angeles lawyer Gloria Allred — who sued Filner and the

The City Council also will give direction to the City Attorney's Office
on how to handle the lawsuit itself.

In a public comment period, community planner Joe LaCava told the
council members that McCormack Jackson should be treated with respect in the
city's formal response.

“She deserves this matter be handled in a timely manner that fully
resolves her complaint,” LaCava said. “How you deal with her complaint will
send a message to those who are afraid or reluctant to come forward in this
matter or any similar circumstance.”

Sunday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told CNN's “State of the
Union” that Filner, a fellow Democrat and former congressman, should step down
amid allegations that for years he has sexually harassed women.

“Being the mayor of a big city, you're a role model for people,” said
California's senior senator, a former mayor of San Francisco. “You're either
inspirational to people or you aren't.”

Feinstein went on to say she suspects there will be recalls, and the
people will judge Filner.

Following more than two weeks of growing accusations, the 70-year-old
Filner announced Friday he would check himself into a behavioral clinic for two
weeks starting Aug. 5. He said he will receive morning and evening briefings on
city business while away.

Filner has rebuffed calls for his resignation, including one from the
San Diego Democratic Party Central Committee, which voted 34-6 to condemn his
actions and demand his resignation. A super-majority of City Council members
said he should step down before he undergoes counseling.

Among the others to accuse the mayor of inappropriate conduct are
retired Rear Admiral Ronne Froman, the first woman to serve as commander of
U.S. Navy Region Southwest, San Diego State University Dean Joyce Gattas and
Sharon Bernie-Cloward, the president of the Port of San Diego's Tenants

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