Details Emerge About Filner’s Credit Card Purchases, Payments
Thursday, August 15, 2013
The City Charter in San Diego has a provision to remove municipal officers, including the mayor, for unauthorized draws on the city treasury, the City Attorney's Office announced.
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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.
In a memo to members of the City Council, and disseminated to reporters, Deputy City Attorney Carrie Gleeson wrote that the city would have to go to court to enforce the charter section, however.
The memo was released on the same day it was learned that embattled Mayor Bob Filner's city-issued credit card was canceled by Chief of Staff Lee Burdick a little over two weeks ago.
The mayor ran up a bill of around $11,000 and failed to submit receipts as required, so the city wasn't able to pay US Bank until right before the account went into collections, U-T San Diego reported.
Burdick, whose promotion was announced July 24, canceled the credit card July 31, according to the newspaper.
As reported earlier this week, charges were for travel, restaurants and a blender, with around $975 deemed to be personal expenses.
Authorities were looking into a series of transactions at The Westgate Hotel, where members of the mayor's security staff told investigators he took different women, according to published reports.
Councilman Kevin Faulconer announced Monday that he would have the Audit Committee he chairs hold a Sept. 9 hearing on whether the city's credit card policies were properly followed.
"Based on this new evidence, I am broadening the scope of my Audit Committee hearing to investigate how Mayor Filner was able to circumvent credit card rules and how to prevent negative effects on the city's credit rating as a result of one person's misuse of taxpayer dollars," Faulconer said.
Felipe Monroig, president of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, said, "Time and again we see taxpayer dollars spent questionably and without adequate explanation from the Mayor's office. Where's the accountability?''
Filner's predecessor, Jerry Sanders, had a member of his staff use a credit card to book flights and rooms when he traveled, but he did not used the card to purchase items, according to Monroig, who was on the staff of Councilman Carl DeMaio for part of that time.
"City credit cards cannot be used for personal expenses, period,'' Monroig said.
The City Council would have to authorize the filing of a civil lawsuit designed to force the mayor out of office, according to the City Attorney's memo.