Vince Hall, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner’s chief of staff resigned on Friday, July 12. This is now the third staff member to quit amid allegations of sexual harassment and Filner’s hostile nature towards his staff.
On Twitter, Hall posted the following just before the end of the day: “As a lifelong activist for women’s rights and equality, I feel I must resign effective today.” Hall previously worked for Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, and his current Twitter profile states that he works there as Vice President of Public Affairs & Communications.
Sexual harassment can include a broad range of conduct, ranging from verbal banter to groping. It has not yet been stated what caused multiple women to finally report him. However one of the statements in Filner’s video release on July 11 causes one to pause and wonder what the mayor thought was acceptable interaction.
“It’s a good thing that behavior that would have been tolerated in the past is being called out in this generation for what it is: inappropriate and wrong,” he said.
Apparently taxpayers are paying for his “therapy” since the city is picking up the tab. Some wonder if this isn’t something he should pay himself.
New information has also been revealed in the last 24 hours that indicates a long-term knowledge among insiders who had the power to take corrective action.
Two top Filner aides recently quit after finally reaching the breaking point. Allen Jones, his deputy chief of staff, resigned at a staff meeting on June 22 because he had a problem with Filner’s interpersonal skills. He told ABC news that the issue had been developing for some time. When Filner asked if anyone else in the room wanted out, Irene McCormack, his communications director, came forward.
Jones’ resignation comes just days after the mayor had the city attorney’s No. 2 man, Andrew Jones, escorted out of a meeting at city hall by police. He is firing back now, calling the mayor a bully.
“He told me to go sit in the back of the room, and I’m a product of the South, born in 1952; raised in the Segregationist South and that statement was derogatory and demeaning to me,” said Andrew Jones.
Additionally, former state assemblywoman Lori Saldana told San Diego’s ABC affiliate that she warned San Diego Democrats about Mayor Bob Filner’s treatment of women. Saldana spent six years in the California Assembly until term limits prevented her from running again in 2010.
“I felt that given Bob wanted to leave Congress and run for local office, the local county party chairman was in an effective position to have that conversation with Bob,” she said.
Saldana said she talked to former San Diego County Democratic Party Chairman Jess Durfee about behavior that crossed a personal boundary, not a legal one.
“I advised Jess Durfee that he meet with Bob Filner and get a handle on this situation before it got out of control,” she said. “
Several weeks later, he told me he had met with Bob Filner and Bob had assured him there was not a problem, that no one had ever filed any claims of allegations against him and everything would be fine,” Saldana said of Durfee’s reaction.
Derfee wouldn’t talk about Saldana’s statements.