The city charter does not outline a provision if the mayor leaves temporarily, meaning Filner maintains full powers, according to legal expert Dan Eaton.
"He's going to remain mayor," said Eaton.
Filner said that he will be at treatment full time, but will be briefed every morning and evening on city business.
Those who have called for a recall issued a statement today said that if Filner does not resign by Monday, July 29, a formal recall effort will begin.
The recall process is very difficult and costly, said our media partner Voice of San Diego editor Scott Lewis.
According to the process outlined by the City Clerk’s office, the clock starts ticking once there is a published notice of intention to circulate a recall petition.
Within 10 days, an affidavit stating that the notice has been published has to be filed with the City Clerk. Within five days, the mayor must be notified, and then, within 14 days, the mayor can respond.
Exactly 21 days after the published notice, the petition can be circulated among voters. The signed petition must be filed within 60 days after the notice of intent is published.
That leaves proponents 39 days to gather signatures from 15 percent of the voters in the city, meaning they need at least 100,001 signatures.
Voice of San Diego reported on Friday that one of Filner's supporters Stampp Corbin has started a recall effort in what may be an attempt to thwart another effort led by Michael Pallarmy.
"By starting a recall process, Corbin might be making a strategic move to prevent other groups from doing the same," the report stated.
Eaton stated the charter only allows one recall petition to be filed every six months, so if the other group is blocking Pallarmy's recall the courts may have to decide the outcome.