Update, 12:45 p.m.: Local broadcast news outlets are reporting that Filner will indeed resign as part of the deal reached with lawyer Gloria Allred and city officials, if the council approves it in a vote tomorrow. On Wednesday evening, a city council staffer posted pictures of Filner loading boxes into his SUV on Twitter. Another report on Twitter confirmed sightings of Filner leaving the mayor’s office with boxes in tow. The local ABC affiliate, citing unnamed sources, reported today that the woman who filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Filner would get a six-figure settlement as part of the agreement.
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, who has now been accused of inappropriate conduct by 18 women, spent Monday and Tuesday in mediation with city officials and his most prominent accuser’s lawyer. On Wednesday, the city attorney’s office announced news of an agreement, though the details won’t be revealed until the city council votes on whether to accept that deal early Friday afternoon.
The parties each had a big bargaining chip going into those talks: prominent women’s right attorney Gloria Allred had her client’s sexual harassment lawsuit against Filner and the city of San Diego; the city of San Diego had the ability to pay Filner’s legal fees, which the city attorney has balked at; and Filner arguably had the best leverage of all: power over his resignation. A city council staffer tells TIME that all parties present had signed confidentiality agreements and that any settlement involving the lawsuit against the city would require a council vote. Emergency sessions of the council require 24 hours notice; hence, the world must wait another day to find out if the first-term Democrat will finally heed calls to step down.
Coming to an agreement through mediation was the simplest solution for everyone, though it wasn’t the only one being floated by Filner’s opposers. Citizens of San Diego have organized volunteers to circulate recall petitions, gearing up for a potentially messy election. City officials have also been considering an obscure part of the city code, which would allow them to chuck the mayor out of office if they could find him guilty of misusing city funds. The latter options both had the potential to get stuck in court, held up on appeals or challenges, drawing out San Diego’s humiliation for many more months.
It’s likely that Filner’s exit is part of the deal. Allred, who represents Filner’s former communications director, has demanded his resignation in press conferences–and is set to appear later today in Los Angeles with Filner’s former fiancee, Bronwyn Ingram. Ingram, who has also called on the 70-year-old to leave his post, dumped the mayor in a public letter the day before allegations first surfaced in July.
Filner has admitted to bad behavior, though he hasn’t responded to the many specific allegations leveled at him. He also took a hiatus from office to complete intensive behavioral therapy, seemingly hoping that this would be enough to appease the people of the nation’s eighth largest city. If a recall effort with 800 quick volunteers is any indication, that didn’t work. But his critics may finally get the white flag they’ve been waiting for before hitting the beach this weekend.