Local News

 

Filner's Private Lawyer Wants SD to Pay for Defense

Filner's Private Lawyer Wants SD to Pay for Defense

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner's private lawyer has asked the City Council to publicly fund his defense against sexual harassment charges, according to city documents made available today.

An updated agenda for a special closed session meeting of the City Council scheduled for late Tuesday afternoon includes the request from lawyer Harvey Berger.

Seven women have publicly alleged that Filner has groped them, tried to kiss them, made unwanted advances and sexually charged remarks.

One, former mayoral Communications Director Irene McCormack Jackson, hired high-profile Los Angeles lawyer Gloria Allred -- who sued Filner and the city.

The City Council also will give direction to the City Attorney's Office on how to handle the lawsuit itself.

In a public comment period, community planner Joe LaCava told the council members that McCormack Jackson should be treated with respect in the city's formal response.

“She deserves this matter be handled in a timely manner that fully resolves her complaint,” LaCava said. “How you deal with her complaint will send a message to those who are afraid or reluctant to come forward in this matter or any similar circumstance.”

Sunday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told CNN's “State of the Union” that Filner, a fellow Democrat and former congressman, should step down amid allegations that for years he has sexually harassed women.

“Being the mayor of a big city, you're a role model for people,” said California's senior senator, a former mayor of San Francisco. “You're either inspirational to people or you aren't.”

Feinstein went on to say she suspects there will be recalls, and the people will judge Filner.

Following more than two weeks of growing accusations, the 70-year-old Filner announced Friday he would check himself into a behavioral clinic for two  weeks starting Aug. 5. He said he will receive morning and evening briefings on city business while away.

Filner has rebuffed calls for his resignation, including one from the San Diego Democratic Party Central Committee, which voted 34-6 to condemn his actions and demand his resignation. A super-majority of City Council members said he should step down before he undergoes counseling.

Among the others to accuse the mayor of inappropriate conduct are  retired Rear Admiral Ronne Froman, the first woman to serve as commander of  U.S. Navy Region Southwest, San Diego State University Dean Joyce Gattas and  Sharon Bernie-Cloward, the president of the Port of San Diego's Tenants  Association.

 

More Articles