Bob Filner is officially resigning.
The San Diego mayor who is engulfed in sexual harassment allegations will leave office Friday, August 30, at 5 pm local time. The 70-year-old Democrat agreed to step down after the City Council voted 7-0 in closed session in favor of a negotiated deal that limits Filner’s out-of-pocket legal bills in a pending sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former aide.
Filner stands accused of sexual misconduct by 18 women, including a great grandmother.
In testimony before the council today when the lawmakers accepted his resignation, Filner apologized to the voters but he also assailed the “lynch-mob mentality in the city” that brought about a “political coup.” To his accusers, Filner said that he “had no intention to be offensive” and rejected any claims that he ever sexually harassed anyone.
The San Diego Union-Tribune outlined the agreement that led to Mayor Filner’s resignation. “Under the agreement, the city drops the cross-complaint it filed against Filner and will provide a joint legal defense in the lawsuit. Filner may continue to retain outside counsel, but the city will pay no more than $98,000 for his attorney fees. The city will have complete control over decisions on settlements of any claims.”
An effort to recall the the scandal-ridden mayor — who supposedly acquired the nickname of “filthy Filner” during his 20 years in Washington — was also moving forward through a petition drive.
Filner is reportedly under a criminal investigation by the California attorney general’s office and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. The city has no obligation to defend him if criminal charges ever get filed, however.
Republicans held the mayor’s office In San Diego for about 20 years until Filner, a longtime area Congressman, was narrowly elected in a November 2012 runoff. City Council President Todd Gloria will serve as acting mayor until the special election for mayor, which by law must take place within 90 days.