Lawyers for embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner (D) attended a mediation session Monday morning with San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith in negotiations that sources say could end in Filner’s resignation.
According to San Diego’s ABC-affiliated 10News, Filner’s attorneys met in an undisclosed location with Goldsmith and Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred.
Filner has been accused of sexual harassment by at least 16 different women, including city employees. Thus far, he has denied the allegations and remained defiant against calls for his resignation and a nascent recall effort.
In late July, Filner entered a two-week therapy program for sex addiction, which, according to a spokesman, he completed Aug. 9. Despite returning to San Diego, the mayor has not yet resumed work at San Diego’s City Hall.
A rally in support of Filner was held at noon on Monday.
Supporters of Filner, including several women, argued that Filner has been railroaded by the press and other members of the government without being given proper due process.
They lauded Filner’s political work on behalf of minorities and illegal immigrants, and emphasized his right to be considered innocent until proven guilty.
“I have not been the recipient of sloppy kisses, and I have met Mr. Filner on several occasions!” said one speaker. “Bob has been a freedom provider. He’s fought for civil rights. He’s fought for immigration.”
Another speaker said that efforts to vilify Filner were comparable to the anti-Communist McCarthyism of the 1950’s.
According to a poll of 600 San Diego residents by 10News/U-T San Diego, only 14 percent of residents believe that Filner should remain in office while 81 percent believe he should resign.
Updated at 3:44 p.m.