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Channel 10 is reporting this evening (July 17) that former Democratic assemblywoman Lori Saldana says that while Mayor Bob Filner's actions with women are questionable, they are not illegal, and he should not resign. "So far, the attorneys have not met the burden of proof of criminal wrongdoing," she told Channel 10. When she sat on the Assembly's ethics committee, she heard more damaging information about her peers, she said.

She said that two years ago she reported to the head of San Diego County's Democrats that she had heard stories of Filner mistreating women. However, "Until an employee is willing to come forward, these attorneys are drumming up a lot of anger, a lot of emotion, but they're not presenting the evidence that would be needed for either a civil or criminal conviction," she told Channel 10.

The whole episode brings up an excellent point: why would Marco Gonzalez, who does not have experience in dealing with sexual harassment cases, offer his services to women in such cases? This is simply bad practice for a lawyer -- rather like a podiatrist taking a whirl at open heart surgery.

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Comments

Sjtorres July 17, 2013 @ 8:17 p.m.

The allegations are of serial sexual harassment, assault and intimidation in the workplace.

Anyone that says those activities are not illegal has no business in elected office.

Some smart lawyers have taken up the case. They wouldn't have if they didn't think there was a viable case.

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Don Bauder July 17, 2013 @ 9:20 p.m.

Sjtorres: But have these allegations been put forward in a court of law? Have the women who have supposedly suffered these indignities come forward? Have they been named? As of Wednesday night, to my knowledge, they had not. Do these smart lawyers have a background in sexual harassment? Best, Don Bauder

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Diogenes July 20, 2013 @ 10:29 a.m.

Agreed, Don.

The Mayor has the right to confront and cross-examine the witnesses against him.

The fact that attorneys have taken a case does not prove the allegations.

These "smart lawyers" want fees from the City and the Mayor. Both have collected fees from the taxpayers before. The fireworks suit cost $750, 000 in attorneys fees from the taxpayers.

These lawyers are environmental attorneys, not lawyers who hold the record for the greatest number of plaintiff's verdicts, nor size of verdicts.

Filner kissed an adult woman in an automobile. He is abrasive at times.

The smart attorneys wanted to try the Mayor in the press. I suspect that none of the cases have much value unless the Mayor resigns. Plus, there is a good chance that they have other agendas, political and professional. Otherwise, they would have advised their clients to contact police or h6man resources.

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Bob_Hudson July 17, 2013 @ 8:19 p.m.

So, only criminal actions are grounds for being unfit to lead a city (or, apparently to serve in the legislature)?

By the way is "Assembly's ethics" an oxymoron?

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Don Bauder July 17, 2013 @ 9:23 p.m.

Bob Hudson: Saldana is talking about the possibility of either civil or criminal conviction and says she does not see adequate evidence. I think that is pretty straightforward. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister July 17, 2013 @ 9:25 p.m.

Evidence, evidence, EVIDENCE! Proof that gossip has a foundation in fact. Specifics, specifics, not gossip, gossip, GOSSIP!

It may be nothing new, but I do believe that such idiocy as trying cases in the media is wrong, wrong, wrong! And trying anyone in the media BEFORE a trial is nothing more than a Kangaroo Court.

It's a sad day for America when a man can be crucified for being a real man.

IF Filner did some "inappropriate" things to women or anyone else, he should be brought to justice under the law. I have been crucified many times for "inappropriate" statements--especially when they cut too close to the bone of truth. Get real.

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Don Bauder July 17, 2013 @ 9:37 p.m.

Twister: You are so right. We need people to come forward and produce evidence, or at least testify under oath and be deposed under oath. Otherwise it's the Salem Witch Trials. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister July 17, 2013 @ 10:27 p.m.

May I suggest that the "Filnergate" discussion be taken up here and the previous one abandoned? All of that hand-wringing (over 80 comments--which is GREAT!) caused my computer to "time out." I got on by a trick, but others may just give up.

Now, back to trial-by-media. I admit that I first thought it was a good idea--and maybe it is, to televise trials. But trying cases in the media is something else. The disgraceful conduct of TV lawyers and judges in some past trials of goading "the public" into hanging the accused to sell soap and line their pockets is reflective of a truly degenerative state into which we have sunk (to paraphrase W.C.).

The lawyer-robbers and their keepers have such supreme arrogance that they won't be stopped by mere words--they will have to be caught in some "lewd" act in some sleazy motel or some canyon in Balboa Park to be divested of their penchant for self-righteousness and hypocrasy to reform them. Uh, oh. I'm wrong again! The People of Privilege cannot be changed. Most of the one's I know--very good people, mind you--have known nothing but privilege and consider anyone who lacks this "quality" to be clearly inferior to them. Patronize the inferior--let them eat cake, but don't really listen to them.

We have become an opinionation, ruled, even (especially!) in the courts by "expert" opinion. What chance do we have in the streets. Fire hoses and gas and tanks and Big Brother spying and snitching await anyone who dares to oppose them.

Lesson: Oppose them. We have no choice but to stand our ground.

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Don Bauder July 18, 2013 @ 6:11 a.m.

Twister: I appreciate your comments. Here's one: there was a meeting in Washington DC featuring all the world's experts on various topics in various disciplines. A guy says he is THE expert on goldfish. Says another: "You're just the one I want to see. How do you tell a male goldfish from a female goldfish." Replies the goldfish expert, "Well, that's difficult for you laymen. But as an expert, I can say that the male goldfish dives down to the bottom and eats male worms, and the female goldfish eats only female worms."

"OK," says the other guy, "How do you tell a male worm from a female worm." Shouts the goldfish expert, "Hey! I said I was an expert on goldfish! I never said I was an expert on worms!" Best, Don Bauder

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Twister July 17, 2013 @ 10:32 p.m.

". . . why would Marco Gonzalez, who does not have experience in dealing with sexual harassment cases, offer his services to women in such cases?"

It couldn't be TV publicity, could it?

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Don Bauder July 18, 2013 @ 6:14 a.m.

Twister: I don't know, but I will say this: as an environmental lawyer, Marco Gonzalez has done many services for San Diego. I am very disappointed in him now. See entry below. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 18, 2013 @ 6:17 a.m.

GONZALEZ LAW PARTNER DEMANDS FILNER RESIGN: Some media have made much of the fact that the board of the League of Conservation Voters has written to Filner, demanding that he resign. The demand letter to Filner was signed by Livia Borak, president of the league. She is a partner in Coast Law Group, the law firm in which Marco Gonzalez is cofounder and managing partner. Best, Don Bauder

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KayL July 18, 2013 @ 7:37 a.m.

I'm gaining a lot of respect for Lori Saldana (who I did vote for over Peters). I wish people had listened to her 2 years ago. And now she's the only Democrat speaking sensibly about this whole mess. If Filner resigns, I hope she runs for mayor.

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Don Bauder July 18, 2013 @ 8:30 a.m.

KayL: Lori Saldana certainly would not turn the City back into the hands of the downtown thieves, as other so-called Democrats like Fletcher and Gloria would. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard July 18, 2013 @ 10:33 a.m.

I don't see how this media circus or the Mayor's resignation could help any alleged plaintiffs. If one plaintiff comes forward and claims that resignation is proper redress for their grievance, or charges are filed, I will reconsider, but until that time I will regard this as a shockingly bad piece of legal representation at best. Advice to counsel, win the case first, then propose punishment.

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Don Bauder July 18, 2013 @ 11:41 a.m.

Psycholizard: Agreed. Win the case first. That means the lawyer representing plaintiffs should be a specialist in sexual harassment law, not an environmental lawyer. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 18, 2013 @ 11:50 a.m.

LA TIMES WAFFLES, BUT SAYS VICTIMS MUST COME FORWARD. The Los Angeles Times wrote an editorial today (July 18) on the Filner matter. Wrote the Times, "People in positions of power may not verbally or physically harass their employees or people seeking jobs from them. It's wrong, and it's also illegal." But then the Times goes on to say, "The problem is, the allegations against [Filner] are anonymous. Until the women come forward or file a sexual harassment claim (as a lawyer has said they will), we can't know for sure what happened, and we can't confidently say that Filner should resign."

Personally, I don't believe it is simply a matter of an alleged victim simply filing a claim. We won't know anything more after a claim is filed. The matter has to go through a court trial. Anybody can file a claim and tell untruths in it. Once at least one of these cases has been litigated, then voters can decide for themselves if the offense rises to the threshold of removal from office.

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Don Bauder July 18, 2013 @ 11:31 p.m.

FILNER TOUTS SUPPORT FOR CONVENTION CENTER EXPANSION. Mayor Bob Filner's office sent out a news release today (July 18) saying that he is dedicated to keeping Comic-Con in San Diego, and "That dedication includes my support for expanding the San Diego Convention Center."

Hmmmm.

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laplayaheritage July 19, 2013 @ 2:36 a.m.

Mayor Filner always supported the Convention Center Phase III Expansion. The last time Mayor Filner spoke on increasing public Hotel Taxes by a vote of out-of-town Hoteliers was Unconstitutional.

Mayor Filner has no choice except to let the legal system to work. Nothing was given up.

http://www.tinyurl.com/20130117

However, the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Convention Center Phase III Expansion Also Includes a Port Master Plan Amendment (PMPA). All Government Agencies have still failed to Confirm or Deny Active Faulting from the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal north to Laurel Street.

Instead only a preliminary fault investigation was performed for the 5 acre Convention Center Phase III Expansion Footprint. Bad Engineering. Stupid Planning.

San Diego needs help and professional guidance from the State Geologist, Caltrans, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and local land use leaders

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Don Bauder July 19, 2013 @ 3:08 p.m.

laplayaheritage: The U-T seemed to indicate this morning that this was a position change for the mayor -- that he had backed the idea of a combined Chargers stadium and convention center. Best, Don Bauder

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