Jeff Smith 6 p.m., Feb. 27
Sheriff reportedly plotting mayor's ouster got funds from Lynch, Blue, hotel interests, report says
L.A. Times relates plan by GOP's Gore and state attorney general's office seeking to short-cut recall by putting mayor on trial for "egregious misconduct in office."
The effort to depose embattled San Diego mayor Bob Filner, accused of sexual harassment by a growing cast of alleged victims, appears to have gotten a bit more Machiavellian.
According to a Los Angeles Times report today, San Diego sheriff Bill Gore and the state attorney general's office may be hatching a scheme to put the mayor on trial for "egregious misconduct in office."
The move comes in the wake of Filner's refusal to step down and doubts over how quickly and successfully a conventional recall could be mounted.
It might also save big money for Filner's political foes, many of whom, though extremely wealthy, don't seem inclined to write another round of five figure checks so soon after last year's mayoral contest.
Another reported consideration for the anti-Filner plotters is the timing of a special election, which would likely draw a low turnout and allow for less money to be spent electing a candidate most desirable to the business interests.
The first part of the plan, says the account in the Times, was a two hour meeting yesterday between investigators for Gore and Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred, along with her client, ex-Filner press aide Irene McCormack Jackson, who has alleged in a recently filed lawsuit that Filner sexually harassed her.
One possibility being discussed by those seeking Filner's ouster would be for the attorney general to use an arcane statute in state law to convene a grand jury and seek a civil complaint against Filner accusing him of egregious misconduct in office. If the grand jury lodges such a complaint, a trial would be held and the mayor, if found guilty, would be ousted.
The attorney general's office is acting as advisor to the Sheriff's Department in place of the district attorney's office because Dist. Atty. Bonnie Dumanis ran against Filner in last year's mayoral primary. Dumanis was defeated and later accused Filner of showing disrespect toward women.
Emerging from the meeting, Allred told reporters that she expects more women to make allegations against Filner. "I don't think the end is in sight," she said.
Of course, if Dumanis is believed compromised enough to step out of the investigation against the mayor, as the Times reports, Sheriff Gore, who endorsed Dumanis against Filner, might also appear to be heavily conflicted, starting with many of his biggest campaign donors.
According to the Re-Elect Bill Gore for Sheriff 2014 campaign financial disclosure covering the first six months of this year and filed July 30 with the county registrar of voters, the sheriff has raised a total of $56,735, much of it from those who are political and economic foes of Filner.
Topping the list is John Lynch, whose occupation is listed on the sheriff's report as "Pres. & CEO Broadcast Companies of the Americas."
Lynch, who the report says gave the sheriff's campaign $700 on June 25, is most famous for being chief executive of U-T San Diego, the media operation owned by developer and hotel magnate Douglas Manchester that has been calling for Filner's scalp even before the current sexual harassment debacle.
Lynch was widely reportedly to have left his position at Broadcast Companies of the Americas back in September 2010.
In addition, a powerful hotel magnate who lost out to Filner in their struggle earlier this year over a lucrative city funding deal that he and fellow moguls thought they had been given by GOP ex-mayor Jerry Sanders, also kicked in big for Gore. Bill Evans, his mother Anne, and sister Grace and her husband David Cherashore gave a total of $1750.
If Filner is ousted, Gloria would step into the job of acting mayor and is expected to be extremely friendly to the Evans operation, which runs its hotels on lucrative city leases.
Another key Filner foe, Predator drone maker Linden Blue of La Jolla, gave the sheriff $500 on June 24. The conservative Republican backed Filner's GOP mayoral foes, and his longtime companion, retired rear admiral Ronne Froman, went on television to allege that Filner had touched her and made untoward remarks.
Real estate magnate Malin Burnham, who backed Nathan Fletcher over Filner in last year's mayoral race, gave $700.
D.A. Dumanis gave the same, as did her backer Samuel Kahn, son of the late Teamster-financed developer Irvin Kahn; lobbyist Paul Robinson, who is employed by the U-T's Manchester, gave $350.
Karen and Michael Turk, old campaign friends of the U-T's Roger Hedgecock, gave a total of $1400. Dominic and Katherine Alessio of the fabled border gambling and lodging family contributed the same.
More like this:
- Dumanis funding plea goes for the jugular — Nov. 7, 2013
- Hotel magnates, developers, ex-Union-Tribune editor put cash into D.A.'s pocket — Aug. 7, 2013
- Who's investigating Filner? It's who's NOT investigating him — Aug. 6, 2013
- ICE special agent, sitting judge, U.S. magistrate, newscaster, prostitution client put cash into D.A. race — Aug. 5, 2013
- As office sex charges swirl, mayor reports getting new leather sofa — July 12, 2013