Disgraced former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner was sentenced Monday morning to 90 days home confinement after he pleaded guilty to three counts involving sexual harassment in October, including a felony.
Because of the felony count, he must agree not to seek or hold public office and surrender his city retirement.
But what about Filner’s long-term future? Will he be able to make a personal comeback after a humiliating end to his long political career?
Psychiatrist Clark Smith says yes – like a Roger Hedgecock or a Bill Clinton, Filner can find his way back.
“People might be willing to listen to his point of view, whether it’s politics or economics,” Smith said. “People might be interested in what he has to say.”
“We see people who are intelligent and knowledgeable and experienced who have a role to play as a commentator or as a consultant,” he said. “I think he can do that.”
But Smith says that acceptance doesn’t mean forgiveness. For that, he says Filner must be truly honest about what made it all come to this – without self-deception or denial.
“It’s possible he needs to make amends to people he has harmed through this. It’s going to be hard because he’s going to be subjected to civil lawsuits, and he’s going to have to defend himself,” Smith said. “I think that makes the situation even more difficult.”
Gloria Allred, the famed attorney representing one of Filner’s alleged victims in a civil suit, was in court for Monday’s sentencing.
After weeks of controversy, recall efforts and women coming forward with sexual harassment claims, Filner resigned from office Aug. 23.