Mayor Bob Filner Quits To Settle Harass Suit
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, facing a sexual harassment lawsuit and numerous allegations of inappropriate behavior toward women, has signed a letter of resignation, the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune reported on Friday.
The reports come just ahead of a closed-session meeting of the City Council at which the city is expected to reach a settlement with Filner over how to handle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against the mayor by his former press secretary, Irene McCormack Jackson.
Filner, 70, a Democratic former congressman elected last year to lead California’s second-largest city, has faced mounting pressure to step down over behavior toward women that he has acknowledged was inappropriate.
Jackson sued Filner in July, accusing him of sexually harassing her. Since then, 17 more women have come forward to say he groped them or made other unwanted advances.
Jackson’s lawsuit is at the center of a proposed settlement between Filner and the city, which City Attorney Jan Goldsmith announced on Wednesday and said would be discussed in closed session by the City Council on Friday.
Goldsmith did not disclose the terms of the settlement, but the Los Angeles Times and other media outlets have reported the deal would require Filner to step down.
Reuters could not immediately confirm that or the reports that he signed a letter of resignation in advance of the closed-session meeting.
Jackson is represented by high-profile attorney Gloria Allred. On Thursday, Allred told reporters her client was not part of the deal and criticized any terms of a settlement that might call for Filner to leave office in exchange for city assistance with his legal expenses.
The City Council, which sued Filner last month to seek to hold him responsible for any damages that may arise from Jackson’s lawsuit, is set to begin its meeting at 1 p.m. local time on Friday. It will first take public comments and then go into closed session.
Representatives for Filner did not return calls or emails, and the mayor has kept a low profile in recent weeks.
If Filner does step down, City Council President Todd Gloria would become acting mayor, and a special election would be held within 90 days under the terms of the city’s charter.
If no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff election would be held within 49 days.