San Diego mayor asks city to pay for defense from sexual harassment suit
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner (D) has asked for city funds to be made available to him to pay for his legal fees in the sexual harassment lawsuit against him, KGTV-TV reported on Monday.
The local city council will take up the matter at its Tuesday public meeting before discussing it in a closed session with City Attorney Jan Goldsmith. KGTV also reported that recall petitions against Filner will begin circulating on August 18.
“I don’t know that we can justify that expense, given the personal nature of the allegations,” council president Todd Gloria (D) told KGTV. “This was not stuff that was done in the course of the mayor’s work or required by his work. This is stuff he chose to do on his own.”
Filner’s former director of communications, Irene McCormack Jackson, filed suit against him on Monday, accusing him (PDF) of asking her, “When are you going to get naked?” and asking her to kiss him. Six other women have since come forward with similar accusations.
But council member Mark Kersey (R) told KGTV that local leaders are trying to determine how they would proceed in the event of a recall, citing a 2003 federal court ruling made in the wake of the recall of then-Gov. Gray Davis (D), requiring a separate election to decide whether to initiate a recall before voting on any prospective replacement for Filner.
Filner said on July 26 that, rather than step down, he would enter a two-week therapy program.
Watch KGTV’s report, aired Monday, below.