Filner's employees got big pay raises before he resigned - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Filner's employees got big pay raises before he resigned

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Employees of former mayor Bob Filner reportedly got big pay raises just before he resigned from office.

The raises ranged from $5,000 to $33,000 a year for seven employees. There may have even been more.

Filner left office amid sexual harassment allegations that could cost the city millions, but before walking out the door at city hall for the last time, he cost taxpayers even more money, handing out $86,000 in raises to seven staffers.

The biggest beneficiary was his spokeswoman Lena Lewis, whose annual salary increased from $82,500 to $115,000.

Mario Lopez, the city's binational affairs manager, saw his salary jump from $70,000 to $85,000.

Molly Chase, a protocol officer, got a jump from $60,000 to $70,000, and council liaison Francisco Estrada saw his pay go from $101,500 to $110,000.

The final raises went to three administrative staff members, who went from $30,000 to $35,000.

Interim Mayor Todd Gloria confirms the moves, and says he noticed them right away while cleaning up what he calls Filner's "mess."

Gloria immediately reduced Lewis' salary down to $95,000 -- still a raise, but she also has a new position as city council liaison.

Gloria dropped Lopez back to his original salary, and Chase, who has taken on more responsibility, was allowed to keep two-thirds of her raise.

The three administrative staff members got to keep their raises, and Estrada, along with three other key members of Filner's administration, were let go from their positions.

How long Lewis, Chase and Lopez will remain on the mayor's staff remains to be seen. San Diego's next mayor could keep them, but will most likely hire his or her own people for those positions.

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