The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Nation & World

August 21, 2013

San Diego mayor back in lawsuit settlement talks

SAN DIEGO — San Diego's embattled mayor on Tuesday spent a second day in settlement talks over a sexual harassment lawsuit against him, as petitions circulated to recall the former Democratic congressman who has been besieged by allegations from more than a dozen women.

City Council President Todd Gloria and Councilman Kevin Faulconer confirmed that Mayor Bob Filner has been present at the talks involving the lawsuit filed by his former communications director Irene McCormack Jackson.

McCormack, as she is known professionally, was the first to go public with allegations against the 70-year-old mayor, who has resisted an avalanche of calls to step down, including from the entire City Council.

The Democratic National Committee plans to vote on a resolution Friday, urging Filner to resign immediately and say that the Democratic Party condemns anyone who creates a hostile work place or sexually harasses women or men. DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz urged Filner to resign in a statement in July. The resolution, to be taken up at a meeting in Phoenix, was first reported by CNN.

It was unclear whether Filner's potential resignation was being discussed in the lawsuit's settlement talks.

Gloria and Faulconer declined to comment further, saying the mediator, former federal judge J. Lawrence Irving, has asked that no one divulge specifics about the ongoing talks.

"We want a good result," Gloria said before heading into the downtown office building where talks were continuing.

The negotiations began Monday when Filner was spotted heading into the building, followed by McCormack's attorney, Gloria Allred.

It was the first time Filner had been seen publicly since announcing about three weeks ago that he would be undergoing therapy after acknowledging he has disrespected and intimidated women. He has denied committing sexual harassment.

Allred and the council members wouldn't say whether the discussions involved a possible resignation by Filner, the target of a recall petition drive that started Sunday.

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