San Diego Mayor Filner wants city to pay legal fees in sexual harassment battle
POSTED: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - 9:39am
UPDATED: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - 12:39pm
CNN — (CNN) -- San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, who's battling a tide of sexual harassment allegations, wants his city to cover his legal expenses.
Last week, Filner's lawyer sent a letter to the city, saying it should mount the mayor's defense and pay his legal bills.
On Tuesday, the city council will hold a closed session to figure out how to proceed.
It's a tricky predicament.
Seven of nine members of the city council have asked Filner to step down.
And even though it's not unprecedented for cities to pick up the tab to defend one of its officials, some city council members have said Filner's case is different: the acts he's accused of didn't take place as part of his official duties.
There's also another hitch: the city itself, along with the mayor, is the defendant in a lawsuit filed by his former spokeswoman -- one of seven women accusing Filner of unwanted groping, kissing or other inappropriate contact.
Irene Jackson filed her suit against Filner, saying she and other women were subjected to his "crude and disgusting" comments and inappropriate touching.
She said she resigned as Filner's communications director in June after deciding that the mayor would not change his behavior.
Filner, 70, says he will enter a behavior counseling clinic next month for two weeks of "intensive therapy." But, he has repeatedly said he'll not step down from an office he was elected to barely eight months ago.
San Diego's city charter does not require him to appoint an interim mayor for a temporary absence.
His decision is unlikely to quell the mounting calls for his resignation.
Many of the accusations allegedly took place during his five terms in Congress, before he was elected mayor last year.
In response, Filner's chief of staff resigned, the Democratic Party of San Diego voted to call for his resignation -- even his fiancee left his side.
A group began an official recall effort but political observers have expressed doubt that the group can logistically pull off collecting the more than 100,000 signatures needed.