After six weeks of civic unrest over his treatment of women, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner submitted his resignation Friday, and the City Council approved a deal to pay for some of his expenses from a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former aide in exchange for his resignation.
Filner, 70, was elected in November, the city’s first Democratic mayor in two decades. Almost immediately his confrontational, abrasive style resulted in friction with City Council members and business leaders.
For weeks Filner had resisted calls that he resign. He apologized for misconduct toward women and entered two weeks of behavioral therapy. All nine council members and numerous other officials had called for Filner’s resignation. But nothing chilled the controversy.
The end of the mediation came late Wednesday afternoon after three days of negotiations that included Filner, his three attorneys, Goldsmith, two deputy city attorneys and two City Council members. The Monday session was attended by Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred, who filed a sexual harassment suit against Filner and the city on behalf of Irene McCormack Jackson, Filner’s former director of communications.
Mayor Filner resigned from office as part of a mediation deal reached in his sexual harassment lawsuit. Filner’s decision to resign comes after three days of closed-door mediation. At least 18 women have publicly accused Filner of sexual harassment, including one former aide who filed the lawsuit.
Under the agreement, the city will pay $98,000 to Filner’s private attorneys. The city will also defend Filner against the Jackson lawsuit and pay any damages that result from a court decision or an out-of-court settlement.
The council now must call an election to be held within 90 days to find a successor. In the interim, Council President Todd Gloria will assume greater authority but not the full powers of the “strong mayor” adopted by voters in 2004.
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