After listening to 40 citizens in an open session this afternoon, the San Diego City Council entered a closed door meeting and voted to unanimously accept the resignation of Mayor Filner as of August 30. Councilman Scott Sherman and Filner hold-out Myrtle Cole were not in attendance.
Filner made a statement to the city council, offered his “deepest apologies” and said that the city should not have been put through this. He said that he was just awkward and was trying to form relationships. He referenced a “lynch mob” mentality in the City. Filner said no allegation has been independently verified or proven in court, and implied this was the hysteria of a lynch mob. The hysteria played into the hands of those who wanted a coup, and that he was removed purely by rumor and innuendo. Filner said the special “interests” pointed the gun at him and media and political agents pulled the trigger, that this is not what democracy was about. He, of course thanked the labor unions, who gave $2M to his campaign and stood by him, never calling for him to step down despite the parade of victims.
Somewhere in the ballpark of 18 women came forward in the last two months with disturbing tales ranging from creepy behavior to being licked, slobbered on, groped, and asked to work without panties. Earlier this week, negotiations took place between the City and Filner about the terms necessary to get him to resign from office. A recall effort has been launched but that is a lengthy and costly process that would take around 6 months to complete. In the meantime, the city would be greatly compromised as it tried to conduct business with a compromised leader.
Filner was active in San Diego politics before being elected to Congress. He served 20 years in Congress before returning to San Diego to run for Mayor.