Details of Filner's France Trip Still Not Clear

Mayor Bob Filner recently took a trip to Paris, but has not yet revealed the cost or purpose of the trip

By Wendy Fry
|  Thursday, Jul 11, 2013  |  Updated 1:23 PM PDT
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San Diego Mayor Bob Filner still refuses to provide the cost of a special trip he took to Paris last week, funded by the nonprofit arm of the National Council of Resistance of Iran. NBC 7's Mari Payton reports.

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner still refuses to provide the cost of a special trip he took to Paris last week, funded by the nonprofit arm of the National Council of Resistance of Iran. NBC 7's Mari Payton reports.

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner still refuses to provide the cost of a special trip he took to Paris last week, funded by the nonprofit arm of the National Council of Resistance of Iran.

NBC 7 Investigates found Congressional gift and travel reports that provide details on prior trips he took to Paris with the same group.

It’s been six days since Filner returned from a group rally in Villepinte, France, near Paris, and few details have emerged about the cost and purpose of the trip.

However, NBC7 Investigates dug up documentation of Paris trips during Filner's time in Congress, funded by the same groups, part of the National Council of Resistance of Iran.

The most recent trip, Filner briefly told reporters, was a business trip with the purpose of bringing jobs to San Diego.

He has since declined to provide details about who he met with there or what jobs were being targeted for San Diego.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran sent out a news release stating Filner attended the Iranian Resistance Annual Gathering.

Gift and travel reports from 2011 and 2007 trips to Paris, funded by the nonprofit arm of the same organization, show then-Congressman Filner took a $6,588 trip with the same group in 2011 and a $7,900 trip in 2007. That was part of a successful lobbying effort to remove the group from the U.S. terrorist watch list, covered by the same organization.

When asked by a reporter for more specifics on what Iran had to do with jobs in San Diego, Filner responded:

“Only to the extent that me, as the mayor, has had a strong position on human rights in Iran.”

Filner said Friday that he would have a detailed accounting of the most current trip to provide to the media in a couple days, but he has not yet done so.

Two city security officers and Filner's fiancé accompanied him on the travel.

State law says local elected officials may not accept gifts in excess of $420.

However, if the trip has a "governmental or legislative" purpose, and it is paid for by a nonprofit, as this trip was, it falls under a loophole to that gift limit.

Authorities with the San Diego Ethics Commission say even though the trip may not be subject to the gift limit, the funded travel still must be reported on state-mandated gift forms.

The document that will provide more details on costs, like the lodging, travel and airfare is due Jul. 31.

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