Mediation Complete for San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, Details Still Confidential

Hundreds of citizens, the entire city council and prominent lawmakers from Congress have all called for Filner to resign. By Friday he may have answered that call

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REUTERS / REUTERS

A demonstrator holds up a sign to protest against San Diego Mayor Bob Filner's refusal to resign over multiple sexual harassment accusations, during a rally and march in downtown San Diego, California August 18, 2013.

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.

12 comments
PetragtioiWill
PetragtioiWill

What has this horse face ever accomplished in his career? Most only now know of him because he deserves to be on the sex registry list. He has accomplished nothing except leaching forever off the taxpayer, a parasite in many ways

Openminded1
Openminded1

He is just a dirty old man who thinks because he is a power broker he can do anything. Well he has he has made a fool of himself like so many Sr. Men do when it comes to woman, power and money.  He is a joke to think with that face and and prune limp penis he is wanted by all these woman. He is just sick and old and does not belong in public office, maybe a nudist camp with A. Weiner so they can both show off there short cummings.

ReubenCastroAcosta
ReubenCastroAcosta

BOB  YOU  NEVER  REALLY  HELPED  VETS     WHEN  YOU  WERE IN  DC FOR  23  YRS    WHAT  A  WASTE  IN  DC  BOB

ToddGilbert
ToddGilbert

I guess there really was a war on woman only it was the democrats. 

womenarenutz
womenarenutz

@katysteinmetz @TIME watching this story unfold has been shocking & a waste of time & $$. So much focus placed on this issue vs SD issues.

deconstructiva
deconstructiva

Thanks, Katy. At first I thought headline read, "Meditation Complete for San Diego Mayor Bob Filner...." He clearly needs help, so maybe squatting on a mat all day chanting ohms could help him clean up his act. Then again, he may need a different chant since "ohm" no doubt sounds like something, ahem, pleasant. I would gues his deal includes some immunity to avoid court or even jail. Your best guess, Katy?

Arimathean
Arimathean

@ToddGilbert  I don't think you can make that case with one Democrat.  He is a pretty sick individual, and not at all representative of his party.