Filner resigns and sticks San Diego taxpayers with part of the bill
Taxpayers in San Diego will be forced to foot part of the defense fund for Mayor Bob Filner, according to a deal worked out by the city council that included Filner's long-sought resignation.
In his resignation speech, a defiant Filner said "I've never sexually harassed anyone."
"Those of you in the media and politics who fed this hysteria need to look at what you helped create," Filner charged. "Because you have unleashed a monster. I think [we'll] be paying for this affront to democracy for a long time."
In the speech, he also asserted that "I've never sexually harassed anyone."
The resignation is effective Aug. 30.
Filner, lawyers and city representatives spent three days in mediation talks this week and reached a deal on Wednesday. The San Diego City Council assessed the proposal in a meeting Friday afternoon and determined that the city would establish a joint legal defense fund to handle certain complaint claims as part of the settlement deal, which passed on a 7-0 vote.
The Friday afternoon announcement capped off weeks of high drama as the accusations piled up against the 70-year-old former congressman, who was elected to lead San Diego in November. Filner apologized to the city for his "own personal failures," chalking them up to "awkwardness and hubris," and said that he had "no intention to be offensive" to women, even as he also claimed that he was the victim of a "lynch mob."
"In a lynch mob mentality, rumors become allegations, allegations become facts, facts become evidence of sexual harassment, which have led to demands for my resignation and recall," he said.
Filner also said he still loved his ex-fiancee, who appeared a day earlier at a press conference with Allred to reiterate her position that Filner should step down.
Allred, who participated in some of the mediation talks, wasn't present when a final deal was hammered out, and on Thursday, she urged the city council to turn down any agreement that would have the city cover Filner's legal liabilities.
I would guess that the quickest way the city council could get rid of the creep is by promising to help pay his legal expenses. Needless to say, with 18 women accusing him of sexual harassment, those legal fees are going to be stratospheric.
I have little doubt that some of those women weren't sexually harassed and wanted to get on the gravy train that Ms. Allred has created, or honestly misconstrued Filner's actions. We are under no compulsion to believe every woman who makes a claim of sexual harassment - each case should be examined independently.There is room for misunderstanding as well as outright lying in sexual harassment cases so before the city pays out for Filner's actions, they should make sure that everyone who gets their payday deserves it.
But there is also no doubt that Filner is a serial harasser who couldn't keep his hands to himself. The city council wanted to usher Filner offstage as quickly as possible, but forcing taxpayers to ante up in order to achieve that goal isn't fair. Eventually, Filner would have resigned anyway due to the enormous pressure being put on him by Democrats across the country. His position wasn't salvageable and one wonders if the council had waited a few days or a week if Filner would have solved their problem for them - without sticking the taxpayers with part of the bill.