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San Diego Mayor Bob Filner expected to resign today

August 23, 2013|By Tony Perry

SAN DIEGO -- Mayor Bob Filner is expected to resign Friday amid mounting allegations of sexual harassment just eight months into his first term.

Filner agreed to resign as part of a proposed mediation deal reached with city officials over a sexual-harassment lawsuit, sources familiar with the negotiations said Thursday.

At least 18 women have publicly accused the 70-year-old Democrat of sexual misconduct, including a former aide who filed the lawsuit seeking damages from the city and Filner.

As more women went public with accusations, public opinion polls showed that a large majority of residents wanted Filner out.

In exchange for his resignation, the city will pay some, if not all, of Filner's legal fees and his share of any damages awarded in the lawsuit, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. One estimate is the agreement will cost the city several hundred thousand dollars.

The lawsuit against Filner was filed July 22 by Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred on behalf of Irene McCormack Jackson, Filner's former director of communications.

Filner's decision to resign came after three days of closed-door mediation. The City Council is set to vote on the proposed settlement in a closed session Friday. Under the city charter, a special election would have to be held within 90 days to find a successor.

In a news conference Thursday, Allred said that although she does not know the details of the mediation deal, it would be "morally repugnant" for the city to "make a gift of public funds" to Filner so that he can, in effect, continue to fight against the lawsuit.

"Our lawsuit is not settled," Allred said.

All nine members of the council--five Democrats and four Republicans--have demanded for weeks that Filner resign.

Council President Todd Gloria and Councilman Kevin Faulconer said that city government has been paralyzed and cannot function properly while Filner is mayor. When Filner leaves, Gloria will assume added duties until an election is held.

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tony.perry@latimes.com

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