SAN DIEGO — As sexual harassment allegations and calls for his resignation continue to mount, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner says the city is responsible for picking up his legal tab.
“Look, I gladly accepted your invitation to serve as mayor back in 2012, given that you’re such a great looking city with some really beautiful assets,” said Filner. “I thought I showed you a good time, so sue me if I expect a little something in return.”
The city is seeking to do just that by asking the San Diego Superior Court to hold the mayor personally responsible for any damages related to the harassment lawsuit brought by his former press secretary, Irene McCormack Jackson.
But according to a letter Filner’s private lawyer sent to City Attorney Jan Goldsmith earlier this past week, San Diego reneged on its commitment to provide sexual harassment training to the mayor within six months of assuming office.
“In fact, it is my understanding,” read the letter, “that such training was scheduled, but that the trainer for the city unilaterally canceled, and never re-scheduled.” Snubbed by being stood up, Filner now claims that the city was asking for it by playing hard-to-get. “If there is any liability at all, the city will almost certainly be liable for ‘failing to prevent harassment.’”
After the City Council voted unanimously to deny Filner funding for his defense, a former city official came forward to challenge the basic premise of the mayor’s assertion. According to Jay Goldstone, interim chief operating officer, Filner’s office—not the trainer—canceled the briefing that was to precede the online course, which could have been completed anytime.
In a videotaped apology distributed by his now one-person media relations staff, Filner maintained that, when it came to nixing the scheduled training, “no really meant yes.”
“I thought we had an understanding. You scratch my back, I lick your face.”
The mayor went on to say that while he still has strong feelings for San Diego, “it may be best to take a break for a couple of weeks while [they] see different people” and he undergoes intensive therapy.
“You’ll see, baby, I can change. Now come over here and let me prove it,” said Filner, offering a warm embrace and a Grinch-like smirk.