After 'personal week,' no word on when Filner returns to work - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

After 'personal week,' no word on when Filner returns to work

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Bob Filner's handlers were silent Friday on the question of whether the San Diego mayor will return to work Monday.

Filner stayed out of sight this week as misconduct allegations against him continued.

Last Friday, his private Irvine-based lawyer, James Payne, sent the media a statement that Filner would take a "personal week" this week, and it was unknown when he would be available next.

Messages sent to Payne and the mayor's office seeking comment on when Filner would return to work were not returned.

Filner has not made a public appearance since the last week of July.

His appearance at a groundbreaking for a trolley construction project, followed by a news conference in which he announced he would enter therapy to address his treatment of women, both attracted a swarm of media.

Sixteen women have publicly accused Filner of making unwanted sexual advances, including three city employees. One of the municipal workers, ex-mayoral Communications Director Irene McCormack Jackson, has sued Filner and the city.

The latest woman to come forward, Peggy Shannon, said the mayor repeatedly asked her out and one time grabbed her and kissed her on the lips. At a news conference Thursday with lawyer Gloria Allred, Shannon said Filner walked by her after the first sexual harassment allegations were lodged and put his finger to his lips.

Allred said Shannon, a 67-year great-grandmother who works part time serving seniors in the lobby of the City Administration Building, will decide whether to file a lawsuit when a city investigation is completed.

Filner has apologized for his conduct with women, but contends his actions don't rise to the level of sexual harassment.

He also faces investigations into alleged misuse of city-issued credit cards and shakedowns of developers.

Additionally, organizers of an effort to recall him plan to begin circulating petitions Sunday.

They said they will seek signatures in the morning at the end of the annual America's Finest City Half-Marathon in Balboa Park and in the afternoon at a march and rally at Civic Center Plaza.

According to the City Clerk's Office, nearly 102,000 valid signatures need to be turned in by Sept. 26 to qualify a recall question for the ballot.

In a recall-related development Friday, the City Attorney's Office said a section of San Diego law that requires signature-gatherers be residents of San Diego and registered to vote, in order for the names they collect to be counted, will not be enforced.

Similar provisions elsewhere were struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court, and the city of San Diego removed them from its code for initiatives and referenda, but kept them on the books for recalls, according to Deputy District Attorney Sharon Spivak.

The entire City Council and numerous other civic and business leaders have called for Filner to resign.


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