Mid afternoon on July 26 new information became available that made the public wonder if San Diego Mayor Filner’s offer to undergo intensive residential clinic for “behavioral inappropriateness” is just a political ploy to avoid a recall election and a lawsuit?
Apparently Mayor Bob Filner finally was served Friday morning, July 26, with a subpoena to appear at a deposition on August 9 to testify under oath about the allegations of sexual harassment.
The question arises, which came first – the decision to enter the clinic or the knowledge of an upcoming deposition? Since people trying to serve the subpoena were turned away from the mayor’s office for three days he had to know an official inquiry was set up.
City Attorney Jan Goldsmith confirmed that when officials tried to serve the mayor at his office they were turned away by his chief of staff.
Goldsmith said the mayor was finally served at the SANDAG offices. San Diego’s ABC affiliate asked Goldsmith if three to five days was a long time to serve someone.
“For somebody who you know where they work, yeah,” Goldsmith said. “He’s mayor of the city – we know that. It was a little difficult for our investigators.”
Additionally there are now grassroots recall campaigns starting. Just minutes before Filner was to speak at his own press conference the leader of one petition attempted to serve the mayor a letter at his office. In it, he demands Filner’s resignation by Monday or face a recall effort.
The chairwoman of the San Diego County Democratic Party, Francine Busby, renewed her call Friday for Mayor Bob Filner to step down. She says the embattled Democrat has a choice: resign or face a recall effort. She doesn’t believe San Diegans will feel two weeks of rehab is sufficient.
“Well, you know, the ball’s in the mayor’s court because in San Diego it’s either recall or resign. I mean, there’s no other way for the mayor to step down,” Busby said.
There are also questions about how a recall ballot must be worded. There are contradictions in federal, state and city law which will open the door to constitutional appeals by various parties.
“This is not just about apologizing,” said lawyer Gloria Allred, who is representing Irene McCormick Jackson, and filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Filner. “He has disgraced the city of San Diego. He needs to resign, and he needs to resign right now.”
Morgan Rose, one of the women who has come forward, said Filner treated her “like a piece of meat” when she was lobbying the then-congressman about her organization, America’s Angel Campaign, a group devoted to working with domestic violence in military and other families.
It happened in 2009, but Rose said she is reminded of the assault all the time.
“None of us will ever forget. We hear his name and it all comes back to us, much less seeing his face and thinking he’s in power as our mayor,” said Rose.