San Diego City Attorney suspends closed sessions

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SAN DIEGO – It’s no secret Mayor Bob Filner and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith have had a tumultuous relationship, but the feuding is once again cutting into San Diego’s city government.

On Monday, Jan Goldsmith sent a letter to the mayor and the city council suspending closed sessions.

San Diego boxing ring Filner vs Goldsmith“It was the most reasonable approach I could take in dealing with this,” said Goldsmith.  “I’ve got to take some action I can’t allow my lawyers to be abused like that.”

Goldsmith spoke to Fox 5 on Tuesday and said he doesn’t see the problem with the mayor as feuding.

“I view this as us being a piñata and having been beaten on,” said Goldsmith.

He said Filner overstepped his boundaries when he recently removed Deputy City Attorney Andrew Jones from a closed session.

“Now it’s up to using police force,” said Goldsmith.  “This was a violation not only against the penal code using a police officer like this, but also our city charter.”

Since Bob Filner took office in January, the relationship between the two men hasn’t exactly been smooth.  Now, it’s reaching into operations at city hall.

“Our office is spending a lot of time trying to figure out what is happening in the mayor’s office, so that we can see if we can protect the city,” said Goldsmith.

The feuding even has the City Council President Todd Gloria stepping in.  On Monday, Gloria sent a letter to both Filner and Goldsmith after learning of the suspension of closed sessions.

“I believe you both love San Diego.  I think you’re both aware that your relationship is a distraction that is affecting our ability to run an efficient and effective organization for the benefit of our citizens. The city can’t go on this way,” wrote Gloria.  “I urge you to put our city and our citizens first and consider using a mediator to resolve this dispute quickly.”

“We have a lot we can relate to. If we sat down, I’d be willing to spend a day with him or more,” said Goldsmith.  “In my career of 40 years, I’ve never found anyone I can’t work with.”City Attorney Jan-Goldsmith

Fox 5’s efforts to reach out to the mayor for comment were not successful.

San Diegans called the conflict between the mayor and city attorney embarrassing.

“It’s unprofessional,” said Juan Sanchez, resident.

“It’s a waste of time,” said Rob Seidenwurm, resident.

Both residents agree for the most part, Mayor Filner has been effective, but the arguing has to stop.

“He’s done a good job as far as I know,” said Sanchez.  “If they have differences, they should hash them out.”

“I just think they need to get it straight,” said Seidenwurm.

The closed session scheduled for Tuesday, July 9 has been cancelled.


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