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Filner Says San Diego U.S. Attorney Should Resign

Aired 10/26/12 on KPBS News.

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.

San Diego U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy

Above: San Diego U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy

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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Avatar for user 'laplayaheritage'

laplayaheritage | October 25, 2012 at 5:45 p.m. ― 4 years, 4 months ago

First the email from DeMaio's campaign was a Press Release and Promotion to news organizations using the Democratic United States Attorney's Appointed Title to show favor to DeMaio a Republican.

As an employee of the Department of Justice who works on Criminal cases, Duffy is not allow to organize, manage, or be part of political events. She is a Federal lawyer, she should know Federal laws such as the Hatch Act. She should quit or be expelled. The appointed position of United States Attorney in the Department of Justice further Restricts Duffy's Political actions compared to other types of Federal employees. Duffy just organizing a political debate is a violation of the Federal Hatch Act, let alone a political email afterwards.

"Employees may not campaign for or against candidates or otherwise engage in political activity in concert with a candidate for partisan political office.

Such Employees May not organize or manage political rallies or meetings.

May not use their official authority or influence to interfere with or affect the result of an election.

For example: May not use their official titles or positions while engaged in political activity."

Funny Bob Filner Strong Mayor Video.

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Avatar for user 'philosopher3000'

philosopher3000 | October 25, 2012 at 6:38 p.m. ― 4 years, 4 months ago

I agree with Filner, bringing your politics to work in such a public position is unethical. It should go before the US Attorney's Office of Ethics ( ) and she should be disciplined and restricted from future political behavior.

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