SAN DIEGO — Mayor Bob Filner has resigned from office effective August 30th following a vote by the San Diego City Council to accept the terms in an agreement following three days of mediation. He will officially step down at 5 p.m. on August 30th. At that point, current Council President Todd Gloria will become the Interim Mayor.
A special election must be held within ninety days from August 30th to elect the new Mayor. If no candidate receives a majority of votes in that election, a run-off will be held.
Filner spoke at length following the announcement of the decision, speaking on a variety of topics and renewed his wish that he’d been given due process. He also thanked supporters and urged the new leadership to continue on track with several of his key initiatives.
Following Filner’s speech, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith briefed those gathered on the details of the resignation agreement including the fact the city is legally liable for any civil damages stemming from sexual harassment claims, but that the city may seek reimbursement from Filner.
The Council heard from dozens of people including Stampp Corbin, an initial organizer of the Recall Filner Campaign and Laura Fink, one of the women to come forward and publicly accuse the Mayor of sexual harassment during a time allotted for public comment. After that, the Council moved into a closed session where they will vote to accept or decline the resignation agreement.
Filner, mired in investigations over sexual harassment claims and allegations of misusing a city-issued credit card and shakedowns of developers, is prepared to resign after less than nine months in office if the mediation settlement is approved, according to numerous reports.
The 70-year-old former Democratic congressman would become the third San Diego mayor of San Diego to resign in recent times, following Roger Hedgecock and Dick Murphy.
Her lawyer, Los Angeles-based Gloria Allred, told reporters Thursday she had not been provided details of the agreement and does not consider her client’s lawsuit settled.
Allred’s remarks raise the possibility that the deal reached in mediation will only affect the city’s portion of the lawsuit, the only one to be filed against Filner so far. A total of 18 women have publicly accused him of improprieties.
Allred challenged the City Council to reject any deal that provides city money to Filner, which she said would be “callous and unholy.”
If Filner does step down, it would not become official until a resignation letter is received by the City Clerk’s Office. Council President Todd Gloria would become interim mayor, and a special election would be scheduled within 90 days. If a candidate receives more than 50 percent of the votes, that person would become mayor. Otherwise, a runoff election would be held between the top two vote-getters.