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As San Diego mayor heads for therapy, city faces big mess (+video)

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Filner declared Monday that he thinks the city should pay his legal fees, and the city council rejected that in a late Tuesday vote. The council also voted unanimously to indemnify itself against all damages and legal fees it might incur as a result of the lawsuit.

“If Bob Filner engaged in unlawful conduct and the city is held liable, he will have to reimburse us every penny the city pays and its attorney fees,” City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said.

In a statement, Councilmember Kevin Faulconer said: “Bob Filner can’t pay back San Diegans for the damage he’s done to our city’s reputation.”

Another figure who says Filner should resign is city council president Todd Gloria, who would become acting mayor in the event of a resignation.

“I applaud his action to seek help, but it only underscores what a lot of us are saying, which is you cannot seek help and run the city at the same time,” Mr. Gloria said in an interview with KPBS TV. “That’s why myself and so many others have said, Mayor, you need to resign.”

Technically, during therapy, the mayor will keep his full authority – signing legislation, if needed, and overseeing parks, roads, libraries, and city services, according to Mr. Goldsmith.

But when Gloria was asked what the chain of command is when Filner goes to therapy, he replied, “Well, it’s kind of unclear. Nothing speaks to a mayor that’s incapacitated.... We don’t really have rules that discuss that. So as a practical matter, it’s almost like he’s on vacation and in that case, we’ll limp by for a couple of weeks. But most of us don’t think that two weeks is sufficient to solve the problem.”

Confusion has also arisen over what to do if there are two recall efforts simultaneously. San Diego’s municipal code seems to say that an official can be recalled only if no other petition has been filed within the past six months.

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