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City Attorney Suggests Audit Of Filner’s Credit Card Use
Friday, September 6, 2013
New information regarding the use of credit cards in the administration of ex-Mayor Bob Filner has come to light since he resigned, according to a memo from City Attorney Jan Goldsmith.
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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.
The memo, dated Thursday, suggests the unspecified new information should be pursued in a proposed audit.
Monday, the City Council's Audit Committee is scheduled to launch an investigation into whether Filner administration officials followed municipal policies on credit cards. Goldsmith and committee Chairman Kevin Faulconer are expected to ask for an audit of city-issued credit cards when Filner was mayor.
While public accusations of sexual harassment by about 20 women dominated the narrative in Filner's last couple of months in office, he also was investigated for whether he misused his city-issued credit card and for allegedly shaking down developers.
In his memo, Goldsmith wrote that evidence was previously uncovered of "misuse of city funds concerning credit cards, travel policies and other matters.'' Investigations were suspended after Filner resigned, pending Monday's Audit Committee meeting, according to Goldsmith.
"Since the suspension of the investigations, we have received additional information that should be pursued,'' the city attorney wrote. He did not say what the information was.
Last week, Interim Chief Operating Officer Walt Ekard said proper procedure was followed when monthly credit card limits were raised before Filner took a trip to Paris in June. The mayor's travel was funded by an Iranian dissident group, but Filner eventually had to pay the money back when it was learned the organization wasn't properly registered in the U.S. as a nonprofit.
The credit limit was raised so one member of Filner's office could pay for airfare by his San Diego police security detail, and was subsequently restored, according to Ekard. The police officers used their own cards to pay for lodging, he said.
The trip cost the city $21,579, Ekard said.
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