Embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has signed a letter of resignation, and the document is in the hands of the retired federal judge who oversaw three days of mediation, it was reported today.
A partial settlement was reached Wednesday in the talks overseen by former Judge J. Lawrence Irving, a deal that will be presented to the City Council today at a special meeting.
Irving is in possession of the signed letter, which apparently has not been submitted to the city, according to U-T San Diego.
Filner, mired in investigations over sexual harassment claims and allegations of misusing a city-issued credit card and shakedowns of developers, is prepared to resign after less than nine months in office if the mediation settlement is approved, according to numerous reports.
The 70-year-old former Democratic congressman would become the third San Diego mayor of San Diego to resign in recent times, following Roger Hedgecock and Dick Murphy.
The parties to the sexual harassment talks have been mum regarding details, including whether a Filner resignation is part of the deal.
City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, when he announced the agreement Wednesday night, counseled San Diegans about listening to rumors.
The mediation was sparked by a lawsuit filed by the first woman to come forward and publicly accuse the mayor of sexual harassment, former mayoral Communications Director Irene McCormack Jackson.
Her lawyer, Los Angeles-based Gloria Allred, told reporters Thursday she had not been provided details of the agreement and does not consider her client's lawsuit settled.
Allred's remarks raise the possibility that the deal reached in mediation will only affect the city's portion of the lawsuit, the only one to be filed against Filner so far. A total of 18 women have publicly accused him of improprieties.
Allred challenged the City Council to reject any deal that provides city money to Filner, which she said would be "callous and unholy."
Filner's private Irvine-based lawyer, James Payne, issued his first statement in nearly two weeks on Thursday to confirm a deal was in place and said an announcement would be made after the City Council meeting. The council members are set to meet at 1 p.m. to take public comment on a settlement. They will then consider in closed session whether to approve the agreement, which is expected to be followed by an announcement.
If Filner does step down, it would not become official until a resignation letter is received by the City Clerk's Office. Council President Todd Gloria would become interim mayor, and a special election would be scheduled within 90 days. If a candidate receives more than 50 percent of the votes, that person would become mayor. Otherwise, a runoff election would be held between the top two vote-getters.
The City Council will also be asked to confirm the appointment of Walt Ekard as interim chief operating officer for the city.
The former county of San Diego chief administrative officer began advising Filner's management team earlier this year on local government procedures. The mayor hired him as interim COO around the time the first sexual harassment allegations were lodged. The council will also retroactively confirm Scott Chadwick as the interim COO for the period of March 2 to July 14. The panel had not weighed in on either appointment previously.
—City News Service