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Mayor Filner To Officially Step Down

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Disgraced San Diego Mayor Bob Filner leaves office today, less than nine months into his term.

Filner, whose resignation takes effect at 5 p.m., is the third mayor of San Diego in recent times to resign amid scandal, following Roger Hedgecock and Dick Murphy.

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.

City of San Diego

Mayor Bob Filner addresses allegations of sexual harassment in a video.

The 70-year-old former congressman, who initially insisted he wouldn't go, agreed last Friday to resign after nearly 20 women publicly accused him of varying degrees of sexual harassment dating back several years. He is also under investigation for allegedly misusing a city-issued credit card and shaking down developers.

In mediation that resulted in his agreement to step down, Filner asked for one final week in office. He has not said how he has been spending his time. Messages to his staff have not been returned.

City Council President Todd Gloria will succeed Filner on an interim basis. Late Thursday, he announced that the first woman to go public with details of the mayor's conduct, Irene McCormack Jackson, will return to her job as communications director in the mayor's office.

McCormack Jackson alleges Filner told her she should work without her panties on, that he wanted to see her naked and that he could not wait to consummate their relationship. Filner also allegedly demanded kisses from McCormack Jackson and put his arm around her and dragged her along in a headlock while making sexual remarks.

Represented by Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred, she has sued Filner and the city, and the case has not been resolved. It was mediation over the lawsuit that led to the mayor to resign.

Allred is scheduled to hold a news conference in downtown San Diego this morning to comment on Filner's last day in office. She said she will have some "parting gifts'' from her to the mayor.

Allred was expected to be joined by great-grandmother Peggy Shannon, licensed vocational nurse Michelle Tyler and injured Marine Katherine Ragazzino.

Joined by attorney Gloria Allred, Peggy Shannon, 67, accuses Mayor Bob Filner of unwanted sexual advances at a press conference, Aug. 15, 2013.

Michelle Tyler, Gloria Allred and Katherine Ragazzino speak at an August 6, 2013 press conference, where they described the mayor's alleged unwanted sexual advances toward Tyler.

Shannon, 67, who works part-time at a senior citizen services desk in the City Administration Building, alleged that Filner repeatedly asked her out and one time grabbed her and kissed her on the lips.

Tyler said she met Filner when he was a congressman and leader of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. She said she sought help from Filner on behalf of Ragazzino, who suffered a traumatic brain injury while serving in Iraq and was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Tyler alleged that when she asked Filner to help Ragazzino navigate the Veterans Administration, he seemed willing to help but at a price, notably a personal and sexual relationship with him.

By the time McCormack Jackson went public with her allegations on July 22, the mayor was already in deep trouble.

He was frequently questioned by reporters about his treatment of his staff and about a trip he took to Paris that was paid for by an Iranian resistance group that wasn't properly registered as a nonprofit in the U.S. He subsequently promised to return the money, but the city paid around $20,000 for his security detail to accompany him.

In June, McCormack Jackson transferred to a new city post, and Deputy Chief of Staff Allen Jones resigned. According to city documents, the staff changes occurred during a high-level meeting in which the sexual harassment allegations were discussed.

On July 8, Filner's fiancee, Bronwyn Ingram, announced that she had ended their relationship.

Two days later, three of his onetime supporters -- including former Councilwoman Donna Frye -- demanded his resignation, claiming he was regularly acting in an inappropriate manner toward women.

In addition to McCormack Jackson's lawsuit, the city is dealing with two claims filed by two other alleged Filner victims. Attorney Daniel Gilleon is representing both women, who will be free to file lawsuits if and when the city denies their claims.

One of the women, identified only as Marilyn, is seeking $250,000.

Gilleon said the mayor grabbed her face and kissed her forehead at an event in May at Johnson Elementary School in Emerald Hills. Filner also allegedly put his hand around her waist and tried to walk her away.

The other woman represented by Gilleon is Stacy McKenzie, the district manager for city-run Mission Bay Park. She is seeking $500,000 from the city.

McKenzie, 50, alleged that Filner asked her for a date and placed her in a headlock at a city function at Mission Bay on April 21. She said he also grabbed her wrists so she was unable to move.

A special election to find Filner's permanent replacement is scheduled for Nov. 19 to choose someone to fill his term. If no one wins more than 50 percent, a runoff vote will be held. City Clerk Elizabeth Maland said the cost for the initial election is estimated to be around $6 million.

One of the candidates, former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, corralled endorsements Thursday from the unions that represent the city's white collar workers and firefighters. The Qualcomm executive finished third in the June 2012 mayoral primary vote.

Carl DeMaio, who lost to Filner by a couple points in the November 2012 runoff, said he will announce Tuesday whether he will make another run.

Gloria has also been mentioned as a potential candidate to complete Filner's term, along with colleagues David Alvarez, Marti Emerald and Kevin Faulconer, Supervisor Ron Roberts and former Assemblywoman Lori Saldana, D-San Diego.

Other candidates who have filed intention forms are lawyer Hud Collins, a frequent speaker at City Council meetings; Bruce Coons, head of the preservationist group Save Our Heritage Organization; Paul Michael Dekker, who, according to his website, is director of information technology at the San Diego-based nonprofit Global Energy Network Institute; La Jolla Realtor Harry J. Dirks; Marcus Dunlap; and Michael Kemmer, whose LinkedIn page says he's an IT intern at Sempra Energy.

Also intending to run are Jared Mimms, who says on his LinkedIn page that he has founded or co-founded four companies; accountant Teresa Miucci, psychiatrist Ashok Parameswaran; website owner Tobiah Pettus; Kurt Schwab, who founded an organization for veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq; Mark Schwartz, a Libertarian activist who created a Facebook page for his campaign last month; and David Tasem, who operates a taxicab business.

Comments

Avatar for user 'thompsonrichard'

thompsonrichard | August 30, 2013 at 9:58 a.m. ― 1 year ago

What was the name the woman had called Kitty O'Shea that Mr Casey would not repeat? He was for Ireland and Parnell and so was his father.

--And can we not love our country then? asked Mr Casey. Are we not to follow the man that was born to lead us?

--A traitor to his country! replied Dante. A traitor, an adulterer! The priests were right to abandon him.

-- Didn't the bishops and priests sell the aspirations of their country in 1829 in return for catholic emancipation? said Mr Casey..

--God and religion before everything! Dante cried.

Mr Casey raised his fist.

--No God for Ireland!

--John! John! cried Mr Dedalus.

--Blasphemer! Devil! screamed Dante.

Uncle Charles and Mr Dedalus pulled Mr Casey back into his chair again, talking to him from both sides reasonably.

--Away with God, I say!

Dante shoved her chair violently aside and left the table, upsetting her napkin-ring which rolled slowly along the carpet and came to rest against the foot of an easy-chair. Mrs Dedalus rose quickly and followed her towards the door. At the door Dante turned round violently and shouted down the room, her cheeks flushed and quivering with rage:

--Devil out of hell! We won! We crushed him to death! Fiend!

The door slammed behind her.

Mr Casey, freeing his arms from his holders, suddenly bowed his head on his hands with a sob of pain.

--Poor Parnell! he cried loudly. My dead king!

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | August 30, 2013 at 10:16 a.m. ― 1 year ago

The worst mayor in San Diego's history will be history at 5:00pm.

Hopefully he will be on a plane back to Pittsburgh by sundown, never to set foot in our paradise again.

Goodbye Filner! Your name will forever be synonymous with corruption and abuse.

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Avatar for user 'sdreefer21'

sdreefer21 | August 30, 2013 at 10:34 a.m. ― 1 year ago

How sad you think he was so much more corrupt than other mayors.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | August 30, 2013 at 11:36 a.m. ― 1 year ago

sdreefer,

But he was.

In just six months he managed to cause the largest mayoral scandal in San Diego's history. From abuse of women to bribe taking to embezzlement. I know, to many this is just a Congressman being a Congressman, but NOT in San Diego. That isn't who we are. We are NOT Washington DC or Chicago or Detroit. We have honor.

Can you imagine what else he did that we'll never know about? Can you imagine what terrible thing he could have done over the next 3 1/2 years? I'm glad we'll never know.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | August 30, 2013 at 11:41 a.m. ― 1 year ago

Yes, Offender, we'll be rid of an Carpetbagging (as opposed to Teebirching) Easterner from our CA shores!!! LOL

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | August 30, 2013 at 11:47 a.m. ― 1 year ago

CA Off was around in the 1800s to KNOW Feelner was SD"s worst mayor. Had it not been for an indiscreet juror, the reactionary and nativist hedgefund would have gone to the pokey! lol

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | August 30, 2013 at 12:30 p.m. ― 1 year ago

While unsavory, Filner was NOT the worst mayor in San Diego history.

That title goes to Mr. Hedgecock, who was convicted of a felony whilst in office.

Mr. Filner has not even been convicted of a misdemeanor.

In fact, Mr. Filner is not even accused of a criminal offense, it is a civil lawsuit that has been filed.

While Filner's actions are reprehensible, he is not accused of committing a felony.

Mr. Hedgecock is clearly worse than Filner.

And Hedgecock didn't leave San Diego in shame - he stayed and spewed his hate on the radio!

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Avatar for user 'The0ne'

The0ne | August 30, 2013 at 12:42 p.m. ― 1 year ago

I am hoping the women will follow through with their charges. This man doesn't deserve to get away, even after resigning. Go get him!

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | August 30, 2013 at 1:53 p.m. ― 1 year ago

Duck,

I'll tell you why Filner is worse than Hedgecock.

First, you're wrong, Hedgecock was not convicted of a felony. It was a misdemeanor for accepting illegal campaign donations from a wealthy financier. Some suspect Filner used money from his congressional account to fund his mayoral race.

Second, Filner is under investigation for taking bribes WHILE IN OFFICE.

Third, Filner is under investigation for embezzlement WHILE IN OFFICE.

Fourth, Filner is being investigated for abusing nearly 20 women WHILE IN OFFICE.

Hedgecock didn't do that while in office. Both are bad, but Filner is much worse.

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Avatar for user 'DonWood'

DonWood | August 30, 2013 at 2:01 p.m. ― 1 year ago

Now that it has been established that any elected politician in San Diego can be hounded out of office based purely on unsubstantiated accusations alone, with no need for a judge or a jury, it will be interesting to see how many other local polls will be attacked next. In San Diego's it's now open season on politicians as attorneys dredge up accusers in order to make a quick buck. Gloria Allred has shown local lawyers how to make money without requiring any proof or evidence.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | August 30, 2013 at 2:18 p.m. ― 1 year ago

CAdef, Hedgecock WAS convicted of a felony while in office.

That's why he stepped-down, the city charter does not allow a convicted felon to serve as mayor.

He got it reduced to a misdemeanor in a plea deal AFTER he had already stepped down.

You can say Filner was accused of whatever ou with, but the FACTS remain this:

(1) Hedgeock was convicted of a felony whilst in office and legally had no choice but to step-down

(2) Filner chose to step-down in an agreement with the city having been convicted of NO CRIMES.

Hedgecock is way worse.

Again, not defending Filner's actions, but he didn't reach the level of being convicted of a felony!

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Avatar for user 'MarineRoom'

MarineRoom | August 30, 2013 at 4:10 p.m. ― 1 year ago

Filner is not accused of abuse. My goodness, how fast and loose CA Off is with the facts. However, Mr. Filner is no longer our mayor, and I do feel for kpbs: how to fill the void? It will be most interesting to watch their coverage of Mr. Gloria's short reign. He has begun royally by ignoring the advice of the City Attorney and acting as though he were elected to this office. Business as usual. I wonder if he brought a For Sale sign sign with him?

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | August 30, 2013 at 4:50 p.m. ― 1 year ago

Duck,

Hedgecock's conviction was overturned due to jury tampering. Remember the bailiff gave alcohol to the jury and told them to convict him?

Anyway, Filner's legal troubles are just beginning. He may yet be convicted of a felony or felonies. But he did the right thing by resigning (albeit very late) to deal with it. Although the city shouldn't have given him a $100,000 future legal fees. But $100,000 payment to stop the corruption is not bad compared to the damage that could have been done over the next 3 years.

10 minutes to go! Counting down! We're almost there!

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | August 30, 2013 at 5:56 p.m. ― 1 year ago

Do you hear the birds singing? Is the air is fresher? Life just got better in San Diego!

Free at last!

The People: 1
Corrupt Politicians: 946,783,512,110

At least we finally won one!

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | August 30, 2013 at 6:16 p.m. ― 1 year ago

CA, after the the jury tampering, Hedgecock reached a plea deal instead of going through another trial.

The plea deal was that he would plead guilty to a felony, which he did, and then the judge reduced the felony to a misdemeanor.

His conviction was not overturned, it was "dismissed" which is procedural for any first time offense that is a "wobbler" (i.e. reduceable felony) provided he completed any probation successfully.

That's different from "overturned".

Overturned means the conviction was reversed, dismissed means "set aside".

Being set-aside, the conviction can still be used for governmental background checks and counted as a prior if Mr. Hedgecock is to commit another crime.

Anyway, I won't hammer this point anymore, we can agree to disagree, in the end I think the facts will stand for themselves - Filner voluntarily resigned from office without any criminal convictions.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | August 30, 2013 at 8:41 p.m. ― 1 year ago

Duck,

We're on the same page here, just looking at it from different angles. I have zero tolerance for corruption as I know you do.

Hedgecock is history and now Filner, too. Both will forever be remembered for their corruption. So Let's hope they are both a strong message to Democrats and Republicans who simply vote with their party no matter what.

To limit political corruption in San Diego, we must vote third party. And I don't mean Nathan Fletcher who is literally running on this third party.

Have a wonderful night San Diego and celebrate this weekend! We won one!

Cheers Duck!

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Avatar for user 'Mmikey'

Mmikey | August 31, 2013 at 7:39 a.m. ― 1 year ago

how will he survive without his security detail?

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Avatar for user 'MarineRoom'

MarineRoom | August 31, 2013 at 11:02 p.m. ― 1 year ago

If CalDef is truly against corruption, as he assures Peking, his comments on the interim mayor should be good reading as the weeks pass.

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