Despite his vow to return to City Hall after undergoing two weeks of therapy, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner was seen entering a downtown office building to participate in settlement discussions regarding a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former employee. Two members of the City Council and attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing Filner’s former staff member Irene McCormack Jackson in the lawuit were also seen entering the building.
City Council President Todd Gloria said he didn’t know if the mayor would be at City Hall and that Mayor Filner has a duty to be transparent to the people of San Diego about his whereabouts as he faces sexual harassment allegations from 16 women, including three city employees.
Last week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urged her fellow congressional colleague to resign.
Mayor Filner is out of rehab, he should be out of the Mayor’s Office — should not subject San Diegans to pain & expense of a recall.
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) August 15, 2013
Ignoring demands from all nine City Council members and members of his own party to step down, Mayor Filner said that he would opt for therapy as more and more allegations became public. On Sunday, a recall movement began, gathering signatures to force the mayor into a recall election. Former Councilman Carl DeMaio, who lost to Filner last November, announced that he will help gather signatures for the petition and urged members of the City Council to join the movement.
Supporters of the mayor gathered outside City Hall on Monday. Filner is San Diego’s first Democratic mayor in 20 years, and also served 10 terms in Congress before being elected mayor in November. When Filner announced that he would enter therapy, he said, “I must demonstrate that my behavior has changed. And that will only happen over time and only if such incidents never, ever happen again.”
He also pledged to focus “on making sure that I am doing right by the city in terms of being the best mayor I can be, and the best person I must be.”
Gloria and Councilman Kevin Faulconer are scheduled to meet with City Attorney Jan Goldsmith on Tuesday. Goldsmith is working on a settlement to the lawsuit that would provide Filner with the option to “exit” the office.
According to a new poll by 10News/U-T San Diego, 81% of San Diegans said Filner should resign and nearly 75% of poll participants said they would sign a recall petition.