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Filner’s Chief Of Staff: City Running At ‘Highest Level Of Integrity’


Mayor's Chief Of Staff Speaks On Rachel Maddow Show

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UPDATE: According to a July 17 letter from Filner's attorney to City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, the move to disallow Filner from meeting with women on city property came from Goldsmith.

"While I believe it is highly inappropriate under the circumstances, pending the investigation, Mr. Filner will comply with your request to avoid meeting alone with women on City business or in a City building," wrote Harvey Berger, who represents Filner.

"If you are going to insist on such a rule, Mr. Filner would request a prompt and objective investigation ... to avoid having this turn into a bigger media event than it already is, with the understanding that if not warranted, such a restriction will be withdrawn promptly."

Lee Burdick, Filner's chief of staff, told the Rachel Maddow Show that she and the mayor crafted the policy together. She did not start working as Filner's chief of staff until July 24, one week after the letter was delivered to Goldsmith.


Filner's Attorney To City Attorney

Filner's Attorney To City Attorney

Mayor Bob Filner's attorney indicates that the City Attorney crafted the policy that disallows Filner from meeting alone with women on city property.

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Burdick served as Filner's deputy chief of staff prior to that date.

In one of her first interviews since taking on the role as chief of staff for San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, Lee Burdick said the mayor's administration is "using this opportunity to...really develop a foundation" for supporting Filner's vision for the city.

Burdick spoke Tuesday to the Rachel Maddow Show about a recently adopted rule that the mayor is no longer allowed to meet alone with women, and whether Filner is able to govern the city in light of sexual harassment allegations that have been leveled against him.

In response to a pointed question from Melissa Harris-Perry, who filled in for host Rachel Maddow, about whether it is discriminatory to bar women from meeting alone with the mayor, Burdick said the rule is a way to protect "both the mayor and the citizens of San Diego" and to insure that city business is "being done with the highest level of integrity."

Burdick said she and the mayor developed the policy as a "reasonable and prudent business practice in light of the allegations being leveled against him."

She added that "there is no reason in an open and transparent government why anyone should need to meet alone with the mayor."

The mayor's office has issued few statements and granted only a handful of interviews since allegations came to light that he sexually harassed numerous women.

Burdick told Harris-Perry that the move to "hunker down" is strategic.

"The mayor is surrounded by very sophisticated advisers who are committed to his progressive vision," she said. "We're actually using this opportunity ... to really develop a foundation for supporting that vision and moving it forward both while he is away ... and when he comes back..."

Filner is set to start two weeks of intensive behavioral therapy Aug. 5. He said during a press conference Friday that he would continue to be briefed on city business during that time.

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.

Burdick also told Harris-Perry that Filner deserves due process and that the legal process will prove whether the allegations against Filner are true.

"I know that at the end of the day, if the mayor has done what he is accused of doing, that process will result in the correct remedy," she said. "I've got to make sure that the business of San Diego moves forward."

Burdick is Filner's third chief of staff since the story broke three weeks ago.

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Avatar for user 'vampiredog'

vampiredog | July 30, 2013 at 9:21 p.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

"highest level of integrity."

being investigated by FBI for official actions.

claiming a non-profit paid for his trip to Paris, but the IRS says there is no record of such a non-profit.


nope, business as usual...shenanigans.

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Avatar for user 'MalcolmSanDiego'

MalcolmSanDiego | July 30, 2013 at 9:51 p.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

What a joke.

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Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | July 31, 2013 at 5:37 a.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

San Diego politics is starting to make Chicago look good. Our mayor has to have a third party present to protect meeting attendees. Hilarious. Maybe we should hire the Kardashians to join this reality show.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | July 31, 2013 at 7:44 a.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

I saw the interview.

She did not come across well.

I had to cringe for our city.

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Avatar for user 'russfox'

russfox | July 31, 2013 at 7:47 a.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

Not sure what the "correct remedy" will be, now that everyone realizes that Filner is NOT going to resign, no matter what. The legal battle will drag on for a year or two. It's better to get to the bottom of things now! Will Filner avoid the deposition?

Rehab without resignation makes no sense, but then again, when has our hostile mayor ever made any sense?

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Avatar for user 'ericdamian'

ericdamian | July 31, 2013 at 9:32 a.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

Sweet baby geezus you statists are the gift that keeps on giving. It's like every day is christmas in San Diego for the sane party.

As I wrote earlier I hope Mayor Pervie keeps hanging in there. By the time this pervert is forced to step down your whole rotten enviro/feminazi/unionista cabal will be toast for years.

As far as poor little Peking Duck, isn't the fact you have to defend your whole inane ideology on a daily basis "cringe" worthy? I mean it must be exhausting. ;<)

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | July 31, 2013 at 9:48 a.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

Ericdamian = tea party fanatic.

Probably a due-hard fan of crazy eyes Michelle Bachmann.

Your comments have no legitimacy, you are a far right-wing apologist.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | July 31, 2013 at 9:55 a.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago


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Avatar for user 'ericdamian'

ericdamian | July 31, 2013 at 10:24 a.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

It's OK sweetie. Spelling errors are a symptom of that aforementioned exhaustion. Hang in there. It's only going to get worse.

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Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | July 31, 2013 at 10:31 a.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

You two are so funny.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | July 31, 2013 at 10:50 a.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

I bet ericdamian has that same blank stare with crazy eyes like his hero MB.

It's ok, ladybug, I'm sure when you do it you don't look as scary

Spelling errors come from auto-correct on iPhone and iPad.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | July 31, 2013 at 11:43 a.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

I wonder how Lee Burdick is benefiting from this? Is it just about money? Who in their right mind would stay as an intern with Filner no less become chief of staff?

And being a woman she is prohibited from meeting with the mayor alone!

Nevertheless, she has ended her political career. She'll just be remembered as the woman who turned her back on all women.

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Avatar for user 'domke'

domke | July 31, 2013 at 12:42 p.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

Thanks Vampireog for taking the first hit on this news. This is not about integrity. How can any sane person really make a statement about integrity in a political office? Because they're insane! And they are running the city and country as if we little folks are hearing this bull for the first time.

Politicians seem to think they can take up some new idealism in the face of lies. Is this a basis for a second act? Did Mr. Filner bring the D.C. clownfest to town to rub our noses in the dirt some more? This kind of mockery of values is unkind to us - and our kids. We have some pretty serious issues in the city, but they will get drowned out by this huge distraction. And we can't afford to wait for due process. Recall the whole lot of them!

We have to get behind new city leaders. But we are instead being treated to groveling by the enlightened kingmakers who brought this on and they can't find a decent one in the bunch. Where the hell was the integrity before the latest election? It's a fine line between the liars every four years.

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Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | July 31, 2013 at 1:18 p.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago


You're right about wondering why this "dog bites man" story about a politician's misbehavior is shocking. It's time society calls them out for what they are. In a very twisted way, our reactions only serve to feed their sense of privilege. If everything about Bob Filner is true, he's not fit to work at a 7-11. Let's not even start with politicians' legislative/administrative abilities, or lack thereof. They would lose their citizenry in a telephone booth.

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Avatar for user 'MalcolmSanDiego'

MalcolmSanDiego | July 31, 2013 at 4:36 p.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

DeLaRick: politicians are anathema to me. Ugghh!

When I was younger, politics were not discussed in my house, and I wasn't interested in it. For years I lived in bliss. Then, I went to college. I questioned countless polisci, economics, and other professors about the logic of how politicians behave (and why people seem to idealize them).

Never have I heard a good reason to trust or believe in the process. I felt like slapping all Polisci majors while attending school. What's with their thinking? It's like dressing a freaking monkey up in a suit--incongruity at it's finest.

Just had to get that off my chest. Filner had better go!

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Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | August 1, 2013 at 7:27 a.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago


It's time that the cameras, wiretaps and software programs are turned around: politicians should be surveilled. Why not? The public deserves to know more, not less, about them.

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Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | August 3, 2013 at 7:17 a.m. ― 3 years, 6 months ago

Rick is right. The politicians and the police use surveillance on the citizens every day. Then, when a citizen videos an arrest, they are harassed or worse. We are told "if you are not doing anything wrong, what is your problem?" Why can't that same excuse be used on the power structure of the system? I fear my government more than any terrorist

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