Thursday, August 22, 2013
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner on Wednesday reached a tentative deal involving a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him — but details were not made public, including whether settlement hinged on the former congressman resigning.
City Attorney Jan Goldsmith announced an agreement had been struck at the end of three days of talks. He said the proposed resolution will be presented to the City Council during closed session Friday, and if approved the members could go into open session.
"I'm sorry I cannot give more information," Goldsmith told The Associated Press.
The resolution came after three days of mediation talks over the lawsuit filed by Filner's former communications director Irene McCormack Jackson.
Filner's attorneys did not respond to requests for comment.
The talks ended hours after a San Diego businesswoman became the latest woman to go public in accusing Filner of making unwanted sexual advances.
The 70-year-old former congressman has been besieged by similar allegations from at least 17 women, and whether he'll be able to hang onto his job is in limbo.
A petition drive to recall Filner is in full swing, and calls from his own party urging him to step down were mounting with the Democratic National Committee planning to vote on a resolution Friday.
Dianne York, the latest accuser, said Filner placed his hand on her buttocks while she posed for a photo with him about three months ago.
York told reporters at a news conference in National City that the incident took place after a meeting at his office. She said she reported the incident to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.
Those at the negotiating table involving the lawsuit said they were instructed not to comment. Filner attended the talks, along with Goldsmith, City Council President Todd Gloria and Councilman Kevin Faulconer.
The office of McCormack's attorney Gloria Allred said she would give her reaction to the proposed deal at a news conference Thursday at her office in Los Angeles. The announcement said Filner's former fiance, Bronwyn Ingram, would also be present and that Ingram and Allred in the past have called for the mayor's resignation.
Analysts have speculated Filner might have negotiated a deal that would shed his financial liability in the lawsuit in exchange for his resignation.
Gloria would serve as acting mayor if Filner resigns.
Filner's former communications director, McCormack, as she is known professionally, was the first to go public with allegations against him. Other accusers include a university dean and a retired Navy rear admiral. Some contend he cornered, groped and forcibly kissed them.
Filner announced three weeks ago that he would undergo therapy after acknowledging he has disrespected and intimidated women. He has denied committing sexual harassment.