skip to main content









Donation Heart Ribbon

Filner To Pay His Own Expenses For Paris Trip

Mayor Bob Filner will personally pay $9,399 for a controversial trip he took to Paris in June.

Aired 8/1/13 on KPBS News.

Mayor Bob Filner will personally pay $9,399 for a controversial trip he took to Paris in June.


Mid-Year Disclosure of Reportable Gifts

Mid-Year Disclosure of Reportable Gifts

Mayor Filner's mid-year disclosure of reportable gifts, filed with the San Diego City Clerk on Wednesday, July 31, 2013.

Download document

Download Acrobat Reader

The travel costs, including airfare, lodging and meals, were originally covered by the Organization of Iranian-American Communities, a group the 70-year-old Democrat initially said was a nonprofit, but KPBS media partner 10News found that the group does not have nonprofit status with the IRS.

On Wednesday, Filner filed a statement as part of his mid-year list of gift disclosures saying he would reimburse the organization.

“I have become aware that the OIAC’s representations regarding its non-profit status were inaccurate,” Filner stated. “I will reimburse OIAC for all amounts it paid for my travel and expenses in its international conference in Paris, France, above the $440 gift limit.”

Elected officials, including Filner, are prohibited by law from receiving gifts totaling more than $440, but nonprofits can exceed that amount if helping to facilitate special events.

The reimbursement hasn't stopped the controversy over his trip because San Diego taxpayers are still on the hook for more than $20,000 for Filner’s security detail.

San Diego City Councilman and audit committee chair Kevin Faulconer said the cost to the city doesn’t add up and plans to continue questioning the mayor.

On Twitter, the San Diego County Tax Payers Association called on Filner to fully reimburse the city. "To reimburse his own costs is simply not enough. Since it’s clear they Mayor’s trip to Paris amounted to little more than a vacation."

San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said his office is not currently investigating the trip.

Special Feature Read the Backstory

All of the accusations, statements and apologies from the key players in the developing story about allegations of sexual harassment in Mayor Bob Filner's office and calls from former mayoral supporters for his resignation.

"Because we understand that the Chief of Police Landsdowne has stated that it was his decision and it's a question of security," said Goldsmith.

"If we receive information to the contrary we will investigate it," Goldsmith added.

Filner traveled to Paris to attend an annual rally of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, a group claiming to work for greater democracy for the country. Filner attended the rally several times during his time in Congress.

Filner insisted the trip would also help bring jobs to San Diego.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.


Avatar for user 'MarineRoom'

MarineRoom | August 1, 2013 at 10:34 a.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

It's nice to get that out of the way. Bit of a tempest in a teacup.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | August 1, 2013 at 11:07 a.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, corruption is always a tempest in a teacup. Just congressmen being congressmen. What's the problem if he brings it to San Diego, right?

Let's not even talk about the fact that his trip was funded by the People's Mujahedin of Iran, a group that was only recently had their designation as a terrorist organization removed (due to Filner's lobbying) which had been in place since 1997.

More info:

Gary Sick, a Persian Gulf expert at Columbia University's Middle East Institute told Time magazine that "They have been extremely clever and very, very effective in their propaganda and lobbying of members of Congress." He said they were successful in getting congressional representatives to overlook terrorism accusations because the group styled itself a "democratic alternative to the Iranian regime."

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'David Lucero'

David Lucero | August 1, 2013 at 12:05 p.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

Another irresponsible act by Filner. Paying back the money does not lift him of being careless. Based on the way he's been running the office, I'll bet he didn't bother checking simply because he believes the mayor can do whatever he wants.

( | suggest removal )