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Filner Gets Outside Counsel For TMD Suit, Goldsmith Responds

The City Council has agreed to pay for an outside attorney to defend Mayor Bob Filner in a lawsuit over the hotel fees used for marketing the city.

The legal fight over San Diego’s Tourism Marketing District will move forward without input from San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith. Now Goldsmith is speaking out about the decision.

Photo by Guillermo Sevilla

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith speaks at a press conference over the Tourism Marketing District agreement.

In a statement, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said he was very careful not to express an opinion on whether Filner should sign an agreement extending the operation of San Diego’s Tourism Marketing District. And he said the city will soon be legally removed from the case.

Goldsmith's statement read in part:

The City of San Diego is in the process of finalizing an agreement with the San Diego Tourism Marketing District Corp. to dismiss the City as a defendant in San Diego Tourism Marketing District Corp. v. Robert Earl Filner and City of San Diego.

This will now be a matter between the TMD and the Mayor, although the City Council has unanimously stipulated that the Mayor should sign the TMD Operating Agreement.

As the City has done in other cases and as allowed under the law, the City Council has unanimously approved the retention of outside counsel for the Mayor.

Filner's spokeswoman would not tell U-T San Diego what lawyer was hired or how much he or she will be paid.

The district allows city hotels to charge an additional fee and then use that money to market San Diego. Filner does not support the district and has refused to release the marketing funds. He said Goldsmith acted improperly by holding a press conference on the marketing dispute and that he can’t trust Goldsmith to represent him.

The two have had a rocky relationship since Filner took office last December.

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