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San Diego Sues Its Own Mayor

Bob Filner

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, currently on a bizarre two week hiatus for supposed counseling related to the numerous accusations of sexual harassment against him, is being sued by the City of San Diego:

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is facing yet another lawsuit, this time from his own city.

San Diego is suing its mayor for the costs incurred as a result of the sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him by his former communications director Irene McCormack Jackson, according to the Los Angeles Times. On Tuesday, the San Diego City Council decided unanimously to file the lawsuit during a closed-door session.

McCormack Jackson sued Filner for sexual harassment last week, becoming the first of a series of women to come forward publicly to accuse Filner of harassment. Following the allegations and a chorus of calls for his resignation, Filner announced Friday that he would be taking two weeks to undergo intensive therapy starting Aug. 5. However, he has said that he will not resign.

An eighth woman, Lisa Curtin, came forward late Tuesday with sexual harassment allegations against Filner. Curtin, who is the director of government and military education at San Diego City College, described a meeting that she had with Filner in 2011, while he was still a congressman.

Curtin told local news station KPBS that Filner gave her “a very wet, saliva-filled kiss” after asking her to go out with him and questioning whether her wedding band was real.

“This is part of due process,” City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said of the city’s lawsuit. “If Bob Filner engaged in unlawful conduct and the city is held liable, he will have to reimburse us every penny the city pays and its attorney fees.”

Goldsmith’s office is not representing Filner, having promised after McCormack Jackson filed her lawsuit to “not, under any circumstance, represent Bob Filner.”

This story is likely to just get more bizarre before its over, but one fails to see how Filner doesn’t get removed from office eventually.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. bill says:

    g/l winning a sexual harassment suit against this perv, it’s really tough without witnesses, video,audio,etc. and since the cats out of the bag he doesn’t need to settle out of court- the city may though. were any of those chicks hot anyway?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

  2. legion says:

    @bill: So, how many times have co-workers complained about _you_, Billy Boy? Something tells me you’ve got an HR reprimand or two in your jacket…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  3. legion says:

    And more on-topic, Jeezus! Is this guy a train wreck or what? I guess he knows there’s no Wingnut Welfare for him post-office like there would be for a Republican, so he’s gonna cling to his current gravy train by the fingernails, but really! This is a guy with _absolutely_ no shame.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  4. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    In other Filner news:

    1) It turns out that the press knew all about his ways for years; it was a common subject of gossip among them, all along the lines of “can you believe this guy keeps getting away with it.” It apparently never occurred to reporters to actually report on it.

    2) The Democratic party in California was fully aware of the allegations against Filner, and worked very hard to keep it quiet — even threatening to withdraw party support for any politician who wanted to make the accusations public.

    3) There is a recall petition underway in San Diego. However, it will not likely succeed, and by design. The petition is sponsored by a longtime Filner ally, who has put forth zero effort towards gathering signatures since he filed the recall plan. Under San Diego rules, there can only be one recall drive at a time — and if it fails, there can’t be another for six months. This Filner ally, one Stampp Corbin, filed the recall petition on July 25, and he has 60 days to collect the signatures — which it seems he won’t even try to do.

    I think I know how Filner got away with it for so long. He is pro-choice, so he was free to wage his own private war on women.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 9

  5. bill says:

    @legion: no need, and this has nothing to do with Republicans- just another democrat abusing woman just because he can. so much for the “war on woman” myth. how long do you think he would have been left alone until the national news picked up on it? now he gets to try the good ol “sex addict” bs that tiger & co. did….and you tools eat it up. he’s just a horny old man with power, a bill clinton protege – end of story.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

  6. Tony W says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: 1) Anybody that spends 5 minutes with the guy knows he’s a creep. He spoke at a debate in my neighborhood during the election cycle and I needed a shower afterwards. I have no idea why he was elected. I personally voted for the Republican candidate, but was overridden by the electorate.

    2) His platform during the election was “I’m the only Democratic candidate”. Not sure how withdrawing party support from his Republican and independent opponents was going to be a problem for them. The issue didn’t come up because the women were ashamed and intimidated by a congressman’s horrible behavior and never thought they’d be believed.

    3) New recall was filed yesterday. It is not as cut and dried as you indicate, this doesn’t happen very often so the rules are unclear. In any event his days are numbered, and even if he stays in office he will not be able to accomplish anything.

    In terms of the snarky comment trying to tie a pro-choice stance to a ‘war on women’ – People are complex and inconsistent – sometimes they give women dignity on one hand and take it away with the other.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  7. Al says:

    Here in San Diego we’re very bipartisan when it comes to our corrupt and incompetent mayors.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  8. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Tony W: His platform during the election was “I’m the only Democratic candidate”. Not sure how withdrawing party support from his Republican and independent opponents was going to be a problem for them. The issue didn’t come up because the women were ashamed and intimidated by a congressman’s horrible behavior and never thought they’d be believed.

    Perhaps I was unclear. Democratic leaders used the threat of withdrawing support not to rein in Filner, but to keep his accusers quiet.

    Party leaders, she (former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña) said, made it clear that if people didn’t support Filner they wouldn’t receive their support again.

    A lot of people in politics and in the press knew for an absolute fact that Filner was a harassing scumbag. No one did anything to check him or expose him to the general public. And many actively helped cover up his misconduct.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  9. C. Clavin says:

    This guy is like Larry Craig or John Ensign…they just don’t know when it’s time to go away.
    He will though…it’s a matter of when, not if.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  10. C. Clavin says:

    “…A lot of people in politics and in the press knew for an absolute fact that Filner was a harassing scumbag. No one did anything to check him or expose him to the general public. And many actively helped cover up his misconduct…”
    A very, very, common occurance in local politics.
    Oh yeah, and…BENGHAZZZI, IRS, AP, Fast and Furious, Acorn, etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  11. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: A very, very, common occurance in local politics.

    That’s what you said, Cliffy. What you meant was “oh, crap, something else that makes Democrats look bad! Quick, change the subject! Call it a ‘phony scandal!’ Find some Republican somewhere we can blame! Somebody do SOMETHING!!!!!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

  12. C. Clavin says:

    @ Jenos…

    No…what I meant…and what I typed…is that it is a very common occurance in local politics for bad behavior, of all kinds, to get pushed unedre the rug. It’s the nature of small town politics. Trust me…I used to work in the same market where Mark Foley was the Vice- Mayor. This guy in SD is a douche…and he will be gone soon enough. As I also typed…it’s a matter of when, not if.

    But I have to say that your ranting is so f’ing amusing. I can just picture you in your onesy, sitting in your mother’s basement eating Cheetos out of the bag…and frothing at the mouth in mis-placed anger. You’re so adorable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  13. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos Idanian #13

    You seem very concerned about a Democratic “war on women”…

    Do you have any actual experience with women beyond hearing myriad variations of “buzz off, creep”?

    You comments suggest that you don’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  14. Gavrilo says:

    @C. Clavin:

    “…is that it is a very common occurance in local politics for bad behavior, of all kinds, to get pushed unedre the rug. It’s the nature of small town politics.”

    Yeah, except that San Diego is the 8th largest city in the U.S. with a population of 1.3 million. And, Bob Filner was a United States Congressman for 20 years before getting elected mayor.

    Nice try, though.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  15. Gromitt Gunn says:

    I think bill and Jenos are missing the real lesson, which is that the voters of the City of San Diego would rather vote in a creepy misogynistic Democrat than *any* Republican. ;-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  16. C. Clavin says:

    “…Yeah, except that San Diego is the 8th largest city in the U.S…”

    Gimme a break…that changes exactly what about my comment?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  17. Gavrilo says:

    @C. Clavin:

    It completely eviscerates your lame argument that Filner’s behavior was “swept under the rug” because of small town politics. San Diego isn’t a small town. It’s a major american city with a substantial local media including daily newspapers and television stations.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  18. Tony W says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: Well, to be fair his Republican opponent is gay, and the election was close.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  19. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: Cliffy, you know how I can tell when you realize you’ve lost?

    When you completely drop the subject and engage in puerile insults exclusively. It seems like that you want me to drop the subject, too, and go for juvenile name-calling right back.

    Sorry, Homey don’t play that.

    Fact: Filner is a creep.

    Fact: The media and the Democrats worked very, very hard to conceal that from becoming common knowledge.

    Fact: You and the rest really, really don’t want to face up to that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  20. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Gavrilo: You see, you just don’t get it. All these stories are just local news stories, with no real significance, as long as it makes Democrats look bad. If the story makes Republicans look bad, or gives the Democrats a chance to look good, then it just explodes into national significance.

    For example, look at how many small-time Republican politicians saying stupid things are worthy of Mr. Mataconis’ attention.

    For another, the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman story had no reason to be a national news story.

    There are plenty of small-time Democrats saying and doing equally stupid things, if not more. Young black men get shot and killed in any big city (say, Chicago) every day. But those don’t make Democrats look good and/or Republicans look bad, so they’re ignored.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  21. C. Clavin says:

    Jenos and Gravilo…
    You f’ing idiots…how did I lose?
    I said the guy is a douche and is on his way out…WTF is your problem with that?
    You guys just have to be angry about something…fever-swamp stuff…to the point that you can’t take yes for an answer.
    What a couple of chuckle-heads.
    And oh yeah…8th largest isn’t really so big…I mean…it’s only 8th largest. But I do suppose it depends on where you live and what you are used to. If you weren’t blinded by your Cheeto and Juice-Box fueled rage you would note of course I said “local politics” as well as “small town” politics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  22. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: Yes, Cliffy, Filner is scum (I’ll refrain from your misogynistic slur) and should be on his way out. Thank you for acknowledging that.

    But where’s your indignation over all the people who knew just what he was doing and actively covered it up for years, enabling him to victimize more and more women? You know, the press and Democratic party leaders who kept silent, and pressured his accusers to stay silent?

    I can’t even begin to imagine your excuse for that one…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  23. C. Clavin says:

    (I’ll refrain from your misogynistic slur)

    What misogynistic slur?
    Are you off your meds again?
    Call upstairs to your mommy and tell her you need her help.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  24. Gavrilo says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Settle down, little guy. All I did was refute your bogus claim that Filner’s well-known, boorish behavior was ignored because of “small town politics” by pointing out that San Diego is not small town politics. As I said, San Diego is a major American city with a robust media, any of which could have investigated Filner years ago. This didn’t get swept under the rug because the only local media is a weekly regional newspaper that only has a couple of part-time reporters. The chairwoman of the San Diego County Democratic Party was quoted as saying that Democrats have given Filner the benefit of the doubt because he is pushing the progressive agenda. What’s the media’s excuse?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  25. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: I apologize for exposing your ignorance. Especially since it gave you an excuse to avoid the topic yet again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  26. C. Clavin says:

    8th largest is not “…a major American city…”
    It’s not even top 5.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  27. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: I missed this earlier:

    This guy is like Larry Craig or John Ensign…they just don’t know when it’s time to go away.

    With Spitzer and Weiner in the news, Cliffy has to go digging to find two Republicans to cite.

    Say what you want about Cliffy, he knows how to stay on message. Of course, it helps that he only has one message: “Derp… Republicans bad!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  28. C. Clavin says:

    “…I apologize for exposing your ignorance…”

    The only way you could expose ignorance…is if you flashed yourself in the mirror.
    Go ask mommy for another juice-box.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  29. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: Douches, juice-boxes… dude, your fetish is showing. And I think I speak for everyone when I say we really don’t want to hear about your fetish.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  30. C. Clavin says:

    Jenos…you ignorant slut.
    The Wiener debacle lasted a for maybe month before he resigned. Spitzer was gone in two days.
    If their comebacks are to be successful is yet to be seen…and will be determined by their constituents.
    Larry Craig said he would resign, then changed his mind and ran out his term.
    Ensign held on until the last possible moment when the Senate referred his case to the DOJ.
    Obviously Craig and Ensign have more in common with the scumbag from SD than either Weiner of Spitzer.
    But you would have to be able to think in a logical manner to discern that.
    It’s amazing to me how f’ing stupid you actually are.
    In your pre-school do they have the “one of these is not like the other” coloring books?
    Maybe you just need to try harder.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  31. Gavrilo says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Learn to work your google machine, smart guy. By any definition, San Diego qualifies as a major American city. That’s why mapmakers put it in large, bold print on maps.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  32. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: I am thoroughly impressed with your on-message discipline: “Democrats good, Republicans bad.” You don’t let anything get you off that track.

    Not even the actual topic of the thread.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  33. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Said topic being, “the incredibly sleazy Democratic mayor of San Diego, and the reporters and Democratic officials who covered up for him and enabled his continued attacks on women.”

    How many women did Filner victimize after his predilections became common knowledge among those best placed to discipline him, and chose not to? At least several might have been spared if the press and the Democratic establishment had shown the slightest bit of decency…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  34. Al says:

    @Gromitt Gunn:

    Actually, a Democrat getting elected to the mayor’s position is the outlier here in San Diego. The last Democratic mayor that we had (not counting acting mayors) was in office from 1986 to 1992 and those are the only two going all the way back to 1971.

    That Fillner won is a pretty good indication of how unpopular the GOP was at the time. That the Democratic party chose to push him as a candidate was very, very poor decision on their part. Filner’s issues (and the sexual harassment is the least of them, there’s plenty of talk about corruption) weren’t exactly a secret even before the story broke.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  35. C. Clavin says:

    Actually Jenos…

    Said topic being, “the incredibly sleazy Democratic mayor of San Diego, and the reporters and Democratic officials who covered up for him and enabled his continued attacks on women.”

    You made most of that up by your own self.
    Stupid f’er.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  36. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: +I don’t have to make up stories of Democratic depravity, Cliffy. Here’s an account of the press coverup, and here’s a Democratic woman talking about how the party kept her and others from making Filner’s depredations public.

    I appreciate your respect for my imagination, but this is a case where the reality is more than sufficient for any reasonable person.

    Which explains why you have so much trouble accepting it…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  37. Al says:

    Also, given U-T’s incredibly heavy slant towards the GOP the idea that local press was somehow covering for Filner is pretty hilarious.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  38. anjin-san says:

    I don’t have to make up stories of Democratic depravity

    People who get out from time to time realize that “depravity” is part of the human condition, and is no respecter of party lines.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  39. C. Clavin says:

    You made up most of “said topic” you a$$hat.
    Jesus-god…you are a dumb motherf’er.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  40. C. Clavin says:

    And #8 is a pissant little city.
    So there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  41. Gavrilo says:

    @C. Clavin:

    You sound a little pre-menstrual. Take two Motrin and go to bed early.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  42. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Al: Yeah. That was the point I was headed towards – that San Diego, being a purplish-red city/county, opting for a creepzoid Dem over *any* GOP candidate is a sign of how toxic the brand is becoming – but I was typing on my smart phone and opted to truncate. Thanks for expanding. :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  43. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: Careful, Cliffy. The way you’re frothing, you could short out your keyboard or something.

    @Gavrilo: That’s a bit too close to Cliffy’s own misogyny there. Go for a more subtle line — mention he’s getting “hysterical.” It’ll go right over his tiny little head, but plenty of others will appreciate it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  44. Craig Davis says:

    The whole thing seems somewhat amusing in a cynical way, until you realize that the taxpayers in SD and California are paying for most of the legal costs of this mess. And if Mr Mayor gets his way, the tax payers will be paying the legal costs of the city and the defendant, the court, and everything else involved. Tax payers lose, attorneys “win”. Sad.

    One question: is there a Mrs. Filner? If there is, when will she be put into the spotlight?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0