SAN DIEGO – A day after a verbal sparring match during a news conference, Mayor Bob Filner and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith appeared together in Linda Vista Thursday.
They were guest speakers at the Town Council inauguration and appeared civil, even shaking hands, but a closer look at their body language seemed to tell a different story. When Filner was introduced to speak, Goldsmith joined in the applause. However, Filner did not do the same when Goldsmith was introduced.
During the speeches there was no mention of Wednesday’s incident. Goldsmith even acknowledged Filner once while at the podium.
“I happen to agree with the mayor on the need for law enforcement,” said Goldsmith. “Believe me we work with them.”
The event comes a day after Goldsmith called a news conference regarding Filner’s stance on a Tourism Marketing District contract, approved by the city council. Filner said publicly Tuesday that he opposed the contract and would not sign it.
During the news conference, Goldsmith addressed the legalities of the issue. Filner showed up and accused Goldsmith of overstepping the boundaries of his job.
“Do not exceed your authority,” Filner said to Goldsmith in front of reporters. “Do not exceed your ethical responsibility. Do not exceed your professional ethics and go to the press on matters that you need to advise me on.”
Goldsmith later replied that he felt obligated to make a public statement on Filner’s stance, because Filner went to the media without consulting the city attorney’s office.
“If I read them in the newspaper and they’re wrong I have to comment on them,” said Goldsmith.
Filner then interrupted, “I have no obligation to inform you of any policy decisions I make. You have the obligation as my attorney to give me private and privileged communication. I do not have to advise you.”