San Diego Mayor Bob Filner during a campaign debate last year. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles…)
SAN DIEGO — City officials announced Wednesday night that mediation has resulted in a proposal aimed at ending the scandal that has gripped the city since women began accusing Mayor Bob Filner of sexual harassment.
At issue during the mediation has been whether Filner would resign in exchange for financial assistance in paying his legal bills and any judgment from a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him by attorney Gloria Allred on behalf of Irene McCormack Jackson, Filner's former director of communications.
The announcement that a proposal had been reached by all sides was made by City Atty. Jan Goldsmith after a third day of mediation.
Goldsmith was flanked by two deputy city attorneys, three attorneys for Filner and two members of the City Council. Filner was not present. Goldsmith said no details would be revealed until the City Council votes on the proposal Friday in closed-session.
All nine members of the council have demanded that Filner, 70, a Democrat, resign. Goldsmith last week said he was working on "exit plans" for Filner.
The City Council has refused to pay Filner's legal bills and threatened to sue him to recover any damages assessed against the city in the lawsuit.
Allred attended Monday's mediation session. The Jackson lawsuit seeks unspecified damages against Filner and the city.
Allred, in an email, said she will hold a news conference Thursday, along with Bronwyn Ingram, Filner's former fiancee, to discuss reports of a mediation proposal. She noted that both she and Ingram have called for Filner to resign.
More than a dozen women have accused Filner of making sexual advances and inappropriate comments. A recall movement is underway and the San Diego County Sheriff's Department has established a hotline to field accusations against Filner.
Late Wednesday night, an aide to a City Council member posted a video
showing Filner loading boxes into an SUV, possibly after cleaning out his office.
The proposal apparently was agreed upon just as Dianne York, president and chief executive of the now-closed Spa of La Jolla, told a news conference that Filner grabbed her buttocks after a meeting three months ago in his office. She had met with Filner about a foreclosure.
"I felt extremely violated," she said.
Filner appeared briefly at City Hall on Wednesday for the first time in nearly a month. He talked to his staff and left without taking reporters' questions. He returned to the mediation session in an office building several blocks away.
"Nice to see you guys," Filner told reporters.