Ian Anderson 5:45 p.m., Aug. 23
Filner, Goldsmith slated to meet tomorrow
City attorney seeks settlement tied to resignation; but does he have anything in his hand?
As of today (Sunday, Aug. 18), Mayor Bob Filner and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith are scheduled to meet tomorrow at an undisclosed location, probably not on City property. The meeting could be delayed or canceled, of course.
The mayor will be given the chance to see the possible charges against him by the city attorney's office, and possibly by the other government agencies (state, federal, and local) that are trying to come up with something against him.
Goldsmith has been working with L.A. attorney Gloria Allred to see if a little-used legal stratagem can be disinterred against the mayor on sex harassment or other sex-related charges. Goldsmith has also been fishing for financial violations, which at this point look quite thin and forced.
The U.S. Attorney is looking at two deals with real estate developers that appear to be civil, not criminal, in nature. The Attorney General's office has been in on meetings with Allred; the sheriff's office has come up with a hotline (whose legality has been questioned) to try to get women to come forward with harassment or related charges.
I have called this an "intergovernmental extra-legal coup attempt," because I believe it clearly is. But Filner, looking at his financial ability to fight the various charges, whether valid or not, will have to decide on the merit of what Goldsmith has. (Of course, Goldsmith may only be discussing what his office plans to do -- not the other governmental bodies.)
The last I heard, Filner is not inclined to resign at this point.
On Friday, Goldsmith told NBC 7 that he will give Filner an "out" to end the stalemate. There could possibly be a "global settlement," according to NBC. Global settlements are among multiple parties, often involving both criminal and civil charges.
NBC said that a settlement could "perhaps erase, or at least limit, Filner's personal liability." According to my sources, the settlement would hinge on Filner resigning. In my own opinion, I believe Filner would be forced to keep the settlement quiet, lest people challenge the legality of the government actions.
Goldsmith is fishing for still another so-called Filner violation. Goldsmith told NBC that Filner may have misled Allred and the city attorney's office to avoid answering questions in the Irene McCormack Jackson harassment suit that Allred filed.
Goldsmith also told NBC 7 that Filner could face additional lawsuits filed by women who claimed he sexually harassed them. However, I am hearing that Goldsmith and Allred are having problems finding witnesses. At least one female in Filner's office has been pressured to file a complaint, but refuses to do so.
So the court case or cases could come down to "he said, she said" allegations. The question is that in the frenzy that has been created by a biased and bumptious media, could jurors objectively decide which side to believe?
One of Filner's problems is that his manner is casual, friendly, joking, and flirtatious -- leading to the kind of badinage that existed between the sexes in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, before the sexual harassment movement gained legal traction. Filner might try to use this as a defense.