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Faulconer, Gloria Say City Business Will Continue Amid Allegations

Aired 7/22/13 on KPBS News.

Two leaders of the City Council today reassured San Diegans that the city's business will continue despite the sexual harassment allegations that have engulfed Mayor Bob Filner.

Just before the news that a lawsuit over sexual harassment was filed against Mayor Bob Filner, two city councilmen repeated their calls for the mayor to resign.

Councilmen Todd Gloria and Kevin Faulconer held a press conference to deliver a mixed message: While city business is going forward, they said, it is also hampered by the mayor's refusal to step down.

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 Council President Todd Gloria and Councilman Kevin Faulconer speak at a press conference about sexual harassment allegations against Mayor Bob Filner, July 22, 2013.

Faulconer reassured San Diegans that their potholes would be filled, trash would be collected and 911 calls would be answered. But at the same time, he said, the city's ability to function is hurt by sexual harassment allegations against the mayor.

"Unfortunately the mayor has decided that his own ego is more important than the reputation of our city, leaving San Diegans to wonder if anything can be accomplished under his leadership," said Faulconer, a Republican and the senior member of the City Council. "We're here to reassure San Diegans that the people's business will be done at City Hall."

Gloria said the council can't force the mayor to step down and will leave decisions over the sexual harassment allegations to the city attorney. But, he said, the council can investigate Filner's other actions, including his trip to Paris, $100,000 deal with the developer Sunroad Enterprises and the mayor's appointments to the pension board.

He said in the next several months the council plans to address retention issues in both the San Diego Police and Fire-Rescue departments, work on preparations for what could be a difficult wildfire season and handle infrastructure and water policy changes.

"We cannot efficiently and effectively run 'America's Finest City' with this mayor in office,'' Gloria said. "Any progress made in the coming weeks and months will be done not because of him, but despite of him.''

He said that he no longer speaks to Filner outside of closed-session meetings between the mayor, City Council and city lawyers regarding litigation.

Faulconer said that with Filner in office, "San Diego is without a credible citywide leader.'' He also said the council is considering voting on a resolution calling on Filner to step down.

Gloria called the allegations a "shroud of shame'' hanging over the mayor's office.

Both Faulconer and Gloria have called on the mayor to resign over claims that he sexually harassed women. If Filner did step down, Gloria would become interim mayor while a special election was held.

Former Councilwoman Donna Frye, who was a member of Filner’s staff until she resigned in April, and attorneys Marco Gonzalez and Cory Briggs, originally brought the sexual harassment allegations to light in mid-July. They each hand-delivered letters to Filner requesting his immediate resignation over allegations that Filner sexually harassed women.

Comments

Avatar for user 'RLA'

RLA | July 22, 2013 at 10:30 p.m. ― 1 year, 5 months ago

Since cash for potholes seems to be hard to find over the last decade, how do these two plan to fund the mayor's lawyers, pay huge damages and fill potholes? Is there a new revenue source that nobody is aware of?

Gloria Allred does not come cheap, and make no mistake - San Diego will pay for their mayoral selection in many ways. None of those ways benefitting the taxpayers or visitors to the city.

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Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | July 23, 2013 at 9:33 a.m. ― 1 year, 5 months ago

Would Gloria and Faulconer resign under similar conditions? Of course not. This has to play out in the media and courts. Amid this circus I want Gloria, Frye, Faulconer, Gonzalez and others close to Filner to explain why now?

They've known Filner for years and have supported him all this time. What did he finally do to help them come forward? If they think they're saving the Democratic Party and their careers they are dead wrong. Everyone is going to want to know why Filner was allowed to behave this way for so many years unhindered. I've paid attention to our city politics since coming of age to vote and never heard of his behavior until now. The people calling on Filner to resign will be held accountable for standing by and doing nothing. Not only is the Democratic Party in San Diego tarnished, so are your careers along with Filner's.

....Still want justice now?

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | July 23, 2013 at 12:44 p.m. ― 1 year, 5 months ago

You don't see PERLA QUINONES, ARLIE RICASA & JIM CART-RUN-OF-THE-MILL resigning their school board seats--and they are facing felony counts!!!

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Avatar for user 'DonWood'

DonWood | July 23, 2013 at 5:57 p.m. ― 1 year, 5 months ago

These comments would have a lot more credibility of Falcouner and Gloria has started the press conference by announcing that if there is a recall election, they will not run for the mayor's office. Both of them stand to gain politically if the mayor resigns or is recalled. So this press conference seems more self serving than useful. Both council members don't appear to believe that Walt Eckard, who managed the county of San Diego for decades, is capable of running the city while this political circus plays itself out.

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