San Diego Mayor Bob Filner (D) requested Monday that the City Council pay his legal bills after a former aide filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him. In previous weeks, six other women have come forward with stories of Filner’s telling a woman to come to work without her panties on, inappropriately touching others, and ramming his tongue down another woman’s throat.
Filner has ignored calls to resign and announced that he plans to attend two weeks of “intensive behavioral counseling” to fix his sexual behaviors.
The council will debate the issue in a closed session Tuesday, though seven of the nine council members have asked Filner to resign. According to Politico, even if the council does not grant Filner’s request, he may be able to set up a legal defense fund under California state law. The city attorney’s office has said it cannot represent Filner because the city also is a defendant in the lawsuit.
City residents can have Filner recalled. To start, a petitioner would need approximately 100,000 signatures from city residents. Two such petitioners have begun the process. However, legal ambiguities are causing confusion as to whether two petitions to recall an official can be circulated simultaneously. The discrepancy is being looked at by the city attorney’s office. According to the LA Times, a city council member has also asked that the law be brought before the council for repeal because it is inconsistent with a court ruling striking down part of the state law involving recalls.
Filner said he will begin therapy August 5.
The San Diego City Council has voted to sue Mayor Bob Filner to recover any money the city has had to pay due to sexual harassment suit.
Kirsten Gibson is an intern for ThinkProgress.