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San Diego Mayor Sued by His Own City

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“Intimidating women is not in Mayor Filner’s job description”

Julie Wilson
July 31, 2013

As of late Tuesday night, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has been accused of unwanted inappropriate sexual advances by eight different women.

Although a slew of women have had the unfortunate experience of allegedly being violated by Filner, only one so far has filed a lawsuit.

An interview with KPBS News revealed the identities of four women who allege they were spoken to or touched inappropriately by Mayor Filner. The women come from a variety of backgrounds including a retired Navy rear-admiral, a dean at San Diego State University, the head of the Port Tenants Association and the mayor’s former communications director.

The allegations made against Filner range from inappropriate comments, such as telling his communications director Irene Jackson that “she would work better without ‘panties,'” to physical touching including placing former aid Patti Roscoe into a “headlock” and telling her he wanted to have sex with her.

A lawsuit brought by Jackson against Filner on Monday, describes six months worth of alleged sexual harassment where the mayor repeatedly pressured her for kissing and sex.

While the allegations appear stiff enough to bring anyone in any profession down, the mayor has not only stated that he has no plans to resign, but he’s asking the San Diego City Council to pay his legal fees that are accruing under the sexual harassment suit against him.

The shocking request came in lieu of the fact that seven of the nine City Council Members are in favor of Filner’s resignation.

Not backing down, the San Diego City Council unanimously voted to “sue Filner to recover any costs imposed on the city by the lawsuit, which names both Filner and the city as defendents.”

Councilman Kevin Faulconer said, “Intimidating women is not in Mayor Filner’s job description. His employers, the San Diego taxpayers, should not have to bail him out of the mess he’s created.”

City Atty. Jan Goldsmith said, “If Bob Filner engaged in unlawful conduct and the city is held liable, he will have to reimburse us every penny the city pays, and its attorney fees.”

A new poll released Sunday by KGTV asked 700 citizens, “Based on what you know, should Filner remain in office or should he resign?” The results revealed that 67 percent of San Diegans believe the mayor should be “recalled if he does not resign,” while 22 percent thought he should be allowed to stay and another 12 percent were unsure.

Residents were also asked, “If the mayor is not allowed to be alone with women at work while on official business, does this affect his ability to run the city?”

This time 68 percent answered yes, 28 percent said no and just 4 percent were unsure.

According to U-T San Diego, after three weeks of hiding in seclusion Filner made an unscheduled appearance at a meeting and said, “I’d like the city to take a deep breath. There are allegations and allegations of allegations. Let us get this into a process where everybody, including myself, has a way to make a fair statement, to talk about their view of things, and there’s an impartial investigation and discovery.”

Just a few days later Filner again responded to the allegations saying that, “The behavior I have engaged in over many years is wrong. My failure to respect women and the intimidating contact I engage in at times is inexcusable.”

Filner followed up the statements by assuring the public that on Aug. 5 he plans to enroll himself into a behavior counseling clinic for two weeks of “intensive therapy” to begin the process of addressing his “bad” behavior.

How Filner plans to complete his “intensive therapy” is unknown since Jackson’s attorney Gloria Allred has subpoenaed Filner for a deposition set for Aug.9.

Filner says he will be able to fulfill his duties as mayor during the two week period with briefings on city business twice a day.

Filner won the election for Mayor in 2012 and became the first Democratic mayor in San Diego since 1992. He served 10-terms as congressman and is less than eight months into a four-year term as mayor.

While the mayor’s behavior is appalling, it’s unfortunately not rare. Filner is one of many prestigious politicians that’s received negative attention in the press for accusations of sexual harassment.

Anthony Weiner, former congressman and New York City mayoral candidate, is the second most recent politician to publicly face allegations of sexual misconduct.

Weiner, who is married to Hillary Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin, is currently being accused of sending sexually explicit text message to 23-year old Sydney Leathers.

Alarmingly, this incident is not the first for Weiner. In 2012, Weiner was forced to give up his seven-term seat as New York congressman after he was caught exchanging “sexually charged messages” to nightclub dancer and porn actress Ginger Lee.

In regards to the latest Weiner scandal, Howard Stern interviewed Leathers and when asked about Weiner she described his obsession with masturbation and questioned how he had time for anything else.

She also says Weiner really got off on constantly having his ego stroked.

In a separate scandal, the New York Times reported that former New York Governor Elliot Spitzer was “caught on a federal wiretap arranging to meet with a high-priced prostitute at a Washington hotel” in 2008.

Ironically in 2004, Spitzer prosecuted at least two prostitution rings as head of the state’s organized crime force and spoke of the 16 arrests with utter distaste and revulsion.

According to federal agents’ surveillance, Spitzer reportedly had at least seven liaisons with prostitutes from the agency over six months and paid more than $15,000 for their services.

Investigators believe that during the time he served as attorney general and governor, he spent up to $80,000 on prostitutes.

Threats of impeachment by state lawmakers forced Spitzer to resign as governor in 2008, but despite his horrible behavior, Spitzer has resurfaced again and is now running for New York City comptroller.

Even more bizarre than his audacity to get back into politics, is that he is “running against libertarian Kristin Davis, the former Manhattan ‘Madam’ who ran the high-class prostitution ring used by Spitzer and other high-powered clients.”

Besides allegations of offensive sexual behavior, there is one thing all three of these politicians share, and that is their egotistical attitude of entitlement.

It’s nothing new that most politicians believe that they are above the law, but their outright disregard for their families and political status is what’s most concerning.

These figureheads are supposed to represent the public, however not only do they not represent the public, but they’ve all publicly expressed a blatant disregard and disrespect for the public’s opinion.

Most importantly, all three displayed some level of refusal or reluctance to give up their political positions even in the wake of an embarrassing sex scandal. This illustrates the mentality of politicians, and that’s that they’re consumed with power and they don’t believe they’re governed by the same rules and expectations as the people, when realistically they should be held to a higher standard.

Even when the media airs out their dirty laundry, they somehow find a way to resurface again and creep back into the spotlight offering nothing more than a cheap apology that’s sometimes followed by a stint in rehab.

This article was posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 11:16 am

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