Filner To Pay His Own Expenses For Paris Trip
Thursday, August 1, 2013
Mayor Bob Filner will personally pay $9,399 for a controversial trip he took to Paris in June.
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.
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.
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"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.
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