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SPECIAL COVERAGE: Living With Wildfires: San Diego Firestorm 10 Years Later

Filner Says San Diego U.S. Attorney Should Resign

Congressman Bob Filner is calling on San Diego U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy to resign after an e-mail from her revealed some involvement in the San Diego mayor’s race.

Congressman Bob Filner is calling on San Diego U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy to resign after an email from her revealed some involvement in the San Diego mayor’s race.

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The email in question stems from a political forum Duffy helped organized at her temple in Del Cerro. KPBS Metro reporter Katie Orr moderated the event. At the forum Filner became agitated during an exchange with City Councilman Carl DeMaio. Later, Duffy sent DeMaio’s campaign an email apologizing for Filner’s behavior and said Filner embarrassed himself.

Filner said Duffy’s actions are a violation of the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from taking part in certain political activities. At a debate Thursday, Filner said Duffy should resign.

"She has chosen to give money to my opponent. She has chosen to comment on what she considered bad behavior where I was just debating my opponent," Filner said. "I mean, this is political action."

Duffy has donated to DeMaio's campaign, which is permitted under the Hatch Act. DeMaio has taken responsibility for Duffy's email being inadvertently made public. But at the debate, he lashed back at Filner.

"If someone disagrees with you, you distort, you demonize and you try to divide," DeMaio said. "In this case you are calling for the resignation for the San Diego U.S. Attorney, appointed by President Obama. You should be ashamed of yourself, Congressman."

But Filner did not back down.

"I don’t care who appoints the U.S. attorney, Republican or Democrat," Filner said. "She is illegally participating in an election. She’s the one that ought to be ashamed of herself."

The Hatch Act typically applies to partisan races. However, it can be applied to non-partisan contests, like the mayor’s race, if federal investigators feel it should be.

Duffy’s office would not comment on Filner’s call for her resignation.

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