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City Attorney: Possible resolution to Filner mediation

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filner-web1 SAN DIEGO – City Attorney Jan Goldsmith announced Wednesday that there is a possible resolution in the ongoing scandal involving Mayor Bob Filner. The settlement will be presented at a closed session of City Council and then a public report may be issued after that.

Goldsmith declined to reveal any details of the proposed resolution. Mayor Filner and various other officials have been in mediation for the past three days with a gag order issue to all parties.

Also, Wednesday a prominent businesswoman became the 18th woman to publicly accuse San Diego Mayor Bob Filner of sexual harassment.

Dianne York, who owned the now-closed The Spa of La Jolla and now runs DYG Cosmetics, said that during a meeting with Filner three months ago, he put his hands on her buttocks while a photo was being taken and others were present in the room.

“I was shocked,” York said at an early afternoon news conference. “It was inappropriate, and I was startled at the time.”

She said she went to Filner to discuss some civic issues and asked for a photo at the end of the meeting. It was the first time they had met, she said.

York said she has filed a complaint with the Sheriff’s Department. Otherwise, she refused to discuss details of the incident.

According to the San Diego court records, she has been a defendant in 10 civil lawsuits filed since 2010. NBC7/39 reported she has twice filed for bankruptcy in the past 13 years.

The first woman to accuse Filner of unwanted advances, groping or, in some instances, forced kissing, was his former communications director, Irene Jackson McCormack. She has sued the mayor and the city for unspecified damages.

McCormack Jackson came forward with her allegations in mid-July. She is one of three city employees among Filner’s alleged victims.

The mayor has apologized publicly for what he called a failure to respect women and for “intimidating conduct,” but denied his actions amounted to sexual harassment.FilnerApology2

Earlier this month, he voluntarily underwent behavioral therapy at an inpatient facility. His lawyer said the mayor was continuing therapy on an outpatient basis.

Filner, who is also mired in investigations over alleged misuse of city- issued credit cards and shakedowns of developers, has so far rebuffed calls from all nine City Council members, other officeholders and business leaders to resign.

Mediation between Filner, lawyers and city officials regarding the 70- year-old former congressman’s political future began Monday.

”It can be a long process. We are in that process; it is ongoing,” City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said late Tuesday of the talks taking place on the 17th floor of a downtown high-rise.

Meanwhile, organizers of an effort to recall Filner continue to circulate petitions around the city. 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.

In another development today, interim Chief Operating Officer Walt Ekard released a video to employees congratulating them for their hard work “in the midst of all the turmoil that’s happening here.”

He pointed out that city departments have won awards for good governance.

“There’s a lot of really cool stuff going on around here” that are improving the lives of San Diegans, Ekard said.

Ekard — who retired last year as the county of San Diego’s chief administrative officer — consulted with Filner’s management team earlier this year to help them navigate local government procedures. He signed on to his current position to guide the city while Filner dealt with the accusations against him.

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