Bob Filner

AZANO INDICTED ON 26 CHARGES, INCLUDING BRIBING AN UNNAMED PUBLIC OFFICIAL IN EXCHANGE FOR CLASSIFIED INFORMATION

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 13, 2014 (San Diego)--Bribery. Conspiracy. Illegal possession of firearms. Those are among the 26 charges just filed against Jose Susomo Azano, the Mexican businessman alleged to have made illegal campaign donations to local politicians including District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner and Congressman Juan Vargas, whose district includes the southeast portion of East County as well as San Diego’s border region and portion of Imperial County.

TERM LIMITS TACTICS TAKE NEGATIVE TURN IN LA MESA

 

Hear our radio interview with term limits advocates Craig Maxwell and La Mesa Vice Mayor Kristine Alessio: http://kiwi6.com/file/257ktyze5y

By Miriam Raftery

April 12, 2014 (La Mesa) – An ad sent in a mailer to La Mesa residents by the La Mesa Term Limits Committee is sparking controversy.  The ad, topped by a no career politicians message, has two photos of convicted former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner – one in 1979, labeled “idealistic, committed, zeal of a new recruit” and the second in 2013 labeled “corrupt, drunk on power, self serving.”  The ad then admonishes voters to “keep all our reps honest with term limits.”

“How could the innuendo in this not be profoundly offensive to the current La Mesa City Council?” asks Anthony McIvor, a La Mesa resident, who calls the mailer a “regrettable smear” piece.

GRAND JURY: SAN DIEGO SHOULD AMEND CHARTER, MAKE IT EASIER TO REMOVE PUBLIC OFFICIALS

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 13, 2014 (San Diego) – Mayor Bob Filner was the latest of several San Diego mayors who resigned under public pressure. Filner pled guilty to a felony count and two misdemeanors following a long string of complaints by women alleging sexual harassment. But there was no legal requirement for a disgraced or disabled mayor to leave office, under San Diego’s Charter. In fact, the charter allows removal of a Mayor or other city official only through death, resignation or recall.

 Now the San Diego County Grand Jury wants to see that changed. Today, the Grand Jury issued a report recommending that the City Council identify additional reasons for removing a public official and place a proposal to amend the City  Charter on the ballot for voters to decide in a future election.

CITY OF SAN DIEGO SETTLES WITH IRENE McCORMACK JACKSON

By Nadin Abbott

 

February 11, 2014 (San Diego)-- Yesterday City Attorney Jan Goldsmith told reporters, “The lawsuit filed by Irene McCormack Jackson based upon claims of sexual harassment against former Mayor Bob Filner has been settled.” The settlement was agreed unanimously by the City Council. Under the settlement, the City will pay McCormack Jackson $250,000 as full settlement including attorney’s fees.

CAMPAIGN SERVICES PRO ARRAIGNED FOR CAMPAIGN FINANCE CRIMES IN SAN DIEGO RACES

Ravneet Singh Allegedly Facilitated Nearly $300,000 in Illegal Foreign Contributions to Campaigns in San Diego, including D.A. Bonnie Dumanis, ex-Mayor Bob Filner and a federal candidate

As part of conspiracy, Former SDPD Detective Ernesto Encinas Allegedly Sought to Fire Sam Diego’s Chief of Police and Pick His Replacement

January 23, 2014 (San Diego)--Ravneet Singh,  proprietor of Washington, D.C.-based ElectionMall, Inc., was arraigned January 21 on charges that he conspired to finance political campaigns using money from an illegal foreign source. Singh was arrested by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents on Friday, January 17,  pursuant to an arrest warrant.

FILNER PLEADS GUILTY TO FELONY AND MISDEMEANOR CHARGES

Plea agreement ends his political career

By Miriam Raftery; photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

October 15, 2013 (San Diego) – Just hours after California Attorney General filed charges against Mayor Bob Filner, the former mayor pled guilty to felony false imprisonment and two misdemeanor counts of battery. Under a plea agreement, Filner will never seek public office again.

The victims were not named, identified only as “Jane Does.”  The felony case entailed Filner kissing a woman against her will and using the “Filner headlock” to restrain her.  Prosecutor Melissa Mandel  stated that the midsdemeanors  included kissing a woman on the lips without consent at a “Meet the Mayor” event and fondling another woman’s buttocks while having a photo taken at a rally.

THE RACE FOR SAN DIEGO MAYOR HEATS UP

 

 

 

By Nadin Abbott

September 5, 2013 (San Diego)—The special election set for November 19 to replace Bob Filner, who resigned August 30, is starting to shape up.  To date, 21 people have thrown their hat in the ring. But thus far, only three candidates  have strong name recognition.

The first, and no surprise to any observer of San Diego politics, is former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher who previously ran for Mayor against Filner. The second is Second District Councilmember Kevin Faulconer. The third is former City Attorney Mike Aguirre, recently recently has represented consumer groups fighting utility companies and big businesses.

READER'S EDITORIAL: AN ENVIRONMENTALIST'S VIEWS ON THE MAYORAL RESIGNATION AND MEDIA COVERAGE OF THE EVENTS

 

 

By Mike Bullock

I was sent this link to an article about Friday’s events:  http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/13831. It seems to me that the article is more balanced that the UT coverage. The article has a link to the audio of both the Filner and the Gloria speech.

Bob was an elected mayor, stepping down to avoid losing all of his personal savings and wealth to legal fees and settlements. His message to his constituents deserved to be printed in the UT as a complete transcript. (I would have liked to have been able to cut and paste from the transcript, which I assumed would be published.) But I forget. The UT is no more a newspaper than Fox News is a news channel. The UT’s purpose is not to inform but to persuade. There are parts of Bob’s speech which the UT does NOT want you, or others, to hear.

SPECIAL ELECTION SET FOR NOV. 19 TO CHOOSE NEW SAN DIEGO MAYOR

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 29, 2013 (San Diego) – San Diego’s City Council has voted unanimously to set November 19 as the special election date for voters to choose a new Mayor.  Councilmember Todd Gloria will serve as Acting Mayor after August 30, when Mayor Bob Filner’s resignation takes effect, until the election.

The special election is expected to cost taxpayers approximately $6 million—an amount that could increase sharply.  If no candidates wins a majority of votes, a run-off election would be held. So far at least 13 candidates have filed papers with the Registrar of Voters indicating an intent to run. Only one, former  Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, is well known.  Fletcher resigned from the Republican party to become an independent and more recently, a Democrat. 

Who else may throw their hats in the ring? 

MAYOR FILNER STEPS DOWN FROM OFFICE EFFECTIVE AUGUST 30

 

By Nadin Abbott

Photos by Tom Abbott

“The hysteria ended up playing into the hands of those who wanted a political coup--the removal of a democratically elected Mayor, purely by rumor and innuendo.” – Mayor Bob Filner

"I have never felt prouder of the people of San Diego." -- Michael Pallamary, leader of the recall effort

"It is time for San Diego to come together. It is time to heal." -- Todd Gloria, who will serve as Interim Mayor until a special election

August 24, 2013—Mayor Bob Filner will step down from office effective at 5 p.m. on Friday August 30, under a deal that will have the City pay limited legal fees to defend Filner against sexual harassment allegations.  Councilman Todd Gloria will serve as interim Mayor and a special election will be held 90 days after the mayoral seat is vacated to fill the seat.

The Mayor apologized for his “personal failings” and to those who have been hurt, but insisted that he believes he will be ultimately cleared of legal wrongdoing and further, contended that he is being forced from office by the city’s power brokers in a “political coup”  based on unproven allegations.  Hear his full resignation speech.

RENO DISPATCH: BOB FILNER THANKFULLY RESIGNS, BUT TROUBLING QUESTIONS LINGER

 

 

By Jamie Reno

August 20, 2013 (San Diego) – I'm sure by now you've read the news that embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is probably resigning. Yes, the greasy pol is apparently out - though some of the details of his pending resignation "deal" are still uncertain. It had to happen. At least 18 very credible women have come forward with specific accounts of Filner's creepy behavior. That he is apparently leaving represents a potentially healing moment for this city, which has taken a major PR hit in recent weeks.

HUNDREDS AT CIVIC CENTER DEMAND MAYOR FILNER RESIGN

 

By Nadin Abbott

Photos by Nadin and Tom Abbott

August 19, 2013 (San Diego)—Hundreds of people came to the Civic Center Plaza yesterday for a “Freedom from Filner” rally.  Michael Pallamary, organizer of an effort to recall the Mayor, spoke about the drive to get 102,000 valid signatures on a recall petition over the next 39 days. 

“We started to gather the signatures at midnight at the Gaslamp,” he said. “The recall will not be involved with any candidate or political party” during the next mayoral race, he added.

100 FILNER SUPPORTERS RALLY AT CIVIC CENTER PLAZA FOR THE EMBATTLED MAYOR

 

Leaders in Latino, African-American and Native American communities defend Mayor

By Nadin Abbott

August 19, 2013 (San Diego)—They approached the podium singing “We Shall Overcome,” a classic from the Civil Rights marches of the 1960s.

Enrique Morones, a community activist and supporter of Mayor Bob Filner, led them. Morones started the rally by informing the press that the silent majority “will be silent no longer.” He said that many groups, ranging from labor, to neighborhoods, to veterans and women, were standing together “stopping the public mockery of our judicial system.”

CLAIMS FROM THE MAYOR’S LAWYER OVER LACK OF TRAINING ON HARASSMENT RAISE CREDIBILTY DOUBTS

 

An ECM special report finds Bob Filner had good cause to know  the seriousness of sexual harassment claims—long before he was the target of complaints

By Nadin and Tom Abbott

August 2, 2013 (San Diego)— Amid mounting sexual harassment accusations against Mayor Bob Filner, including a civil lawsuit, on Wednesday Filner’s lawyer tried to place all the blame on the City of San Diego. In a letter to the City, attorney Harvey C. Berger wrote, “The City has a legal obligation to provide sexual harassment training to all management level employees within six months of hire.”

He also claimed in the letter that the “trainer for the City unilaterally cancelled and never rescheduled such training for the Mayor.”  http://media.10news.com/image/Harvey_Berger_letter.pdf

But later, Voice of San Diego revealed, “Former city Chief Operating Officer Jay Goldstone said Filner’s office canceled several training sessions, which would have covered payroll, benefits and other employee and management roles and responsibilities, because the mayor’s office said it didn’t have time for them.” http://voiceofsandiego.org/2013/07/31/sources-mayors-office-canceled-harassment-related-training-sessions/

So we decided to look a little deeper, and what we found was highly problematic.

MAYOR’S PREVALING WAGE ORDINANCE APPROVED BY SD COUNCIL

By Miriam Raftery

 

July 31, 2013 (San Diego) --  On Tuesday, the San Diego City Council yesterday enacted a significant reform benefitting city workers.  Mayor Bob Filner’s proposal to require that construction workers on city projects be paid a prevailing wage won approval in a 5 to 4 vote.  The prevailing wage is defined as the most commonly paid wage for a particular type of work in San Diego County.

“This decision to pay a fair, livable wage to the hard working men and women in the construction business is long overdue,” said Mayor Filner.  “I applaud the City Councilmembers who stood up to do the right thing and voted in favor of the Prevailing Wage Ordinance.”

COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY ASKS MAYOR FILNER TO STEP DOWN

 

By Nadin Abbott

July 25, 2013 (San Diego) Late today, the Central Committee of the San Diego County Democratic Party voted 34 to 6 to ask Mayor Bob Filner to step down over sexual harassment allegations made by numerous women. This was a supermajority vote.

“With very heavy hearts but clear minds the members of the San Diego County Democratic Party Central Committee met this evening,” said Francine Busby, chair of the party. We affirmed our commitment to our vision of a San Diego as a city of diverse vibrant communities where every neighborhood is a priority.”

MAYOR FILNER APPOINTS LEE BURDICK AS CHIEF OF STAFF

 

 

July 24, 2013 (San Diego) – Mayor Bob Filner has promoted Lee Burdick to serve as his Chief of Staff. Burdick most recently served as Deputy Chief of Staff and was initially hired as the Mayor’s Director of Legal Affairs. She previously represented the City as a Commissioner on the Board of the Port of San Diego.

NATIONAL WOMEN VETS GROUP CANCELS FILNER KEYNOTE SPEECH; TWO MORE WOMEN ALLEGE UNWANTED ADVANCES

 

By Nadin Abbott

July 24, 2013 (San Diego)— Tara Jones, President and founder of the National Women’s Veterans Association of America (NWVAA) today announced that the group has rescinded its invitation to Mayor Bob Filner as keynote speaker at its August 30 gala in San Diego.  The Mayor, who now faces accusations of sexual harassment, ironically was slated to address issues of military sexual assault, sexual harassment and violence against women.

“The Mayor speaking at our event interferes with the moral compass of my organization,” said Tara Jones, President and founder of  (NWVAA) at a press conference today at the Civic Center downtown where a pair of counter-protesters showed up in support of Filner.  Jones said that NWVAA has heard from thousands of people at the national level about “the public embarrassment that San Diego County is currently receiving.”

POLITICAL REFLECTIONS: FILNER - MAYOR BEHAVING BADLY

 

By Mark Gabrish Conlan

July 19, 2013 (San Diego) – Just when you thought the current sex scandal involving San Diego Mayor Bob Filner couldn’t get any weirder, it did. On July 17 KGTV Channel 10 broke the news that Filner had been booked to be the keynote speaker at the National Military Women Veterans’ Association of America’s gala event in San Diego August 30-31. They had originally planned to give him a “Lifetime of Leadership” award honoring his work on behalf of veterans in general and military veterans in particular. But with allegations that Filner routinely harassed women, including his staff members, in the workplace and at community events, the group decided to rescind the award but keep him on as a speaker. “He is now the keynote speaker for these injustices,” said the group’s official statement.

MAYOR CALLS FOR CONVENTION CENTER EXPANSION

 

July 19, 2013 (San Diego) – Yesterday, during opening day at Comic-Con, Mayor Bob Filner announced support for expanding the San Diego Convention Center.

“I am dedicated to keeping Comic-Con here in San Diego.  That dedication includes my support for expanding the San Diego Convention Center.   I am pleased to announce that I have been working closely with the Center’s Board of Directors and San Diego business leaders to develop a solid plan for the expansion effort,” he said. “I support what the Board has in mind and will be working with City staff at all levels to ensure we do everything necessary to get the project underway and completed in a timely fashion.”

HOW SHOULD FILNER CONTROVERSY BE HANDLED? REACTIONS MIXED AMONG SAN DIEGANS

 

By Miriam Raftery

San Diegans are speaking out on the anonymous sexual harassment allegations against Mayor Bob Filner--and their opinions are as diverse as the city's population. While some have called for the mayor's resignation or a recall election, others are urging him to stand his ground pending outcome of any investigaiton--and object to anonyous allegations being leveraged to try and force the mayor from office.

A rift has also occurred within the Democratic Party, with some prominent former supporters and multiple members of the City Council now calling for his resignation. But others say the Mayor is entitled to due process and that demands for his resignation are inappropriate absent proof of  illegal actions. In addition, the party is divided over who should replace Mayor Filner should he step down or be forced from office.

READER'S EDITORIAL: FILNER AND HIS OPPOSITION

 

By E.A. Barrera

July 16, 2013 (San Diego) – On the continued fight over forcing the Mayor to resign - It is not too smart to call a press conference, like the one Briggs, Frye and Gonzales called yesterday in an attempt to use the media to force San Diego Mayor Bob Filner to resign, then attack the media for asking legitimate questions.

I believe Bob Filner should resign for the good of San Diego, but if he survives this thing, it will be due to his opposition playing such heavy handed politics - from the left and the right - that the public decides this is all just another power grab and there is no difference between Bob and his adversaries.

FILNER ANNOUNCES KEY APPOINTMENTS

 

July 16, 2013 (San Diego) – Mayor Bob Filner yesterday announced appointments intended to significantly strengthen City management.  Filner prefaced the announcement with a statement addressing recent calls for his resignation:

“I’m not going to resign, and here’s why,” said Filner.  “As your elected mayor, I fully expect to be accountable to the citizens of San Diego for all of my actions.  But as a citizen of this country, I also expect – and am entitled to – due process, and the opportunity to respond in a fair and impartial venue to specific allegations.  I do not believe I am guilty of sexual harassment, and I believe a full presentation of the facts will vindicate me,” said Filner.

MAYOR FILNER ASSERTS INNOCENCE IN SEXUAL HARASSMENT CLAIMS, CALLS FOR INDEPENDENT REVIEW

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 12, 2013 (San Diego) – Mayor Bob Filner today announced support for an  independent investigation into any complaints of sexual harassment by women on his staff and added that he believes the investigation will clear him of legal wrongdoing.

“While I stand by my comments and pledge of yesterday to make changes to improve the workplace environment in my office, I am confident that a fair and independent investigation will support my innocence with respect to any charges of sexual harassment,” Mayor Filner said in a statement issued today. 

The announcement comes one day after three of his long-time supporters called for his resignation, alleging to have credible evidence of sexual harassment complaints made by multiple women who worked for the Mayor. None of the women have been identified and details of the alleged harassment have not been disclosed.

SUPPORTERS CALL ON MAYOR FILNER TO RESIGN OVER ALLEGED SEXUAL HARASSMENT, BUT DECLINE TO DISCLOSE DETAILS

 

 

 

Photo: Filner and Frye earlier this year joined in presenting open government award to Terry Francke at Californians Aware, an organization Frye now heads after leaving the Filner administration.

 

By Nadin Abbott

Miriam Raftery also contributed to this story

July 11, 2013 (San Diego) – At a press conference today, three former supporters of Mayor Bob Filner called for his resignation, claiming to have credible evidence of sexual harassment involving multiple women.  They declined to provide any details on the alleged acts of harassment, nor have any of the women been publicly identified. However, Mayor Filner has acknowledged failing to respect women in his workplace and admitted to needing help.

Donna Frye, formerly Filner’s Director of Open Government as well as a past Council member and former mayoral candidate, joined with attorneys Cory Briggs and Marco Gonzalez in asking the Mayor to step down.   Hear audio of today's press conference from KNSJ 89.1 FM news:  https://soundcloud.com/mikehancock/frye

MAYOR FILNER APPOINTS NEIGHBORHOOD CHAMPIONS TO SD PLANNING COMMISSION

 

June 18, 2013 (San Diego)--Mayor Bob Filner appointed Theresa Quiroz and Anthony Wagner, two long-time neighborhood champions, to the City’s Planning Commission last week.

“I want to thank Theresa and Anthony for their commitment to our community and believe they will provide a strong voice for our neighborhoods in this new role” Mayor Filner said. “Their experience in community groups, knowledge of land use issues, and belief in healthy and vibrant neighborhoods will make them great additions to the Planning Commission.”

The appointments were approved unanimously by the San Diego City Council.

MAYOR’S FIRST BUDGET APPROVED: FOCUSES ON ECONOMIC RECOVERY AND STABILITY, INCLUDES 5-YEAR LABOR DEAL

 

 

Funds also approved to increase library hours, improve fire and police services, make neighborhoods safer and keep city’s homeless shelters open

June 11, 2013 (San Diego) -- Mayor Bob Filner’s balanced budget and financial priorities were adopted by the San Diego City Council on June 10. A 7-2 majority of the Council sided with the Mayor and made a commitment to fiscal responsibility and enhanced city services for the coming year.

In a separate action, the Council approved the Mayor’s five-year labor deal with City workers that will save more than $108 million over the term of the agreement by reducing the amount that the City has to pay into the employee retirement system. The labor deal will provide the City with much needed stability and predictability continuing its path toward recovery, the Mayor’s office indicated.

GERMAN SOLAR EXECUTIVE, NEW SAN DIEGO GREEN LEADERS SHARE VISIONS AT GREEN EXPERTS ACADEMY

By Paul Kruze

May 28, 2013 (San Diego)--A wide range of facets and perspectives of the growing “green energy” industry were shared at a special forum titled “New San Diego Green Leaders: The Road To 100% Renewables” on May 7th at Cricket Communications headquarters in Kearney Mesa.  Kathleen Connell moderated the forum sponsored by Green Experts Academy; East County Magazine was media sponsor of the event. 

The forum addressed how San Diego might utilize 100 percent renewable energy, also focusing on how local leaders can learn from Germany and other countries where development of alternative renewable energy sources is not an option, but a necessity.

ROMNEY AGREES TO AID MAYOR FILNER IN EFFORT TO BRING OLYMPICS TO OUR REGION

 

May 8,2013 (San Diego) – Mayor Bob Filner met with former Governor Mitt Romney on Monday evening to discuss the City of San Diego’s Olympic bid for the 2024 Summer Games.

Mayor Filner announced last month that the cities of San Diego and Tijuana will submit a bi-national bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics. The Mayor invited Romney to his office to ask if the former Presidential candidate, who formerly headed up Salt Lake City’s Olympic organizing committee, would lend his advice to the effort. Romney said yes.

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