The San Diego City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to refuse to pay for Mayor Bob Filner's legal fees in a former employee’s sexual harassment lawsuit.
Filner has been accused of making crude comments and unwanted sexual advances in the lawsuit filed by his former communications director Irene McCormack Jackson.
The city council heard public comment on the issue at hand: whether to foot the bill for Filner’s legal fees.
San Diego resident Julie Adams was adamant that the city should not provide legal counsel.
“As far as paying for his defense, being a groper is not part of his duties, so I say no. I say hell no,” Adams told the council.
Another resident, Izean Rim, felt the mayor should cover his own expenses in this case.
“Let Bob Filner pay for it. Let him get his own lawyer and let him pay for it,” Rim said.
Citing a conflict of interest, the city voted to not cover Filner's legal fees and Council President Todd Gloria said the vote was not connected to the councilmembers’ personal feelings on whether Filner should stay in office or resign.
“As Mayor Bob Filner was elected to serve San Diego and its citizens he was not elected to mistreat and disrespect San Diegans or members of his staff,” Gloria said. “San Diegans have every right to expect service from its mayor.”
“The mayor has no right to expect a blank check from San Diegans to defend his egregious behavior,” he said.
In addition, the council voted to sue Mayor Bob Filner to recover costs for all damages and attorney fees if Filner and the city were found liable in the suit.
Filner asked the city to cover the cost of his attorney’s fees in the civil case brought by high-profile attorney Gloria Allred on behalf of Jackson.