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The line that City Attorney Jan Goldsmith drew in the sand in his duel with Mayor Bob Filner may be disappearing.

A closed session meeting is planned for Tuesday, just over a week after Goldsmith threatened to suspend the meetings until the Mayor promised to stop haranguing and harassing his attorneys.

Two items will be discussed at the closed session hearing Tuesday. First will be an update from the City Attorney's Office on the status of a lawsuit filed by San Diegans for Open Government over the legality of Maintenance Assessment Districts. Following that discussion, the council, mayor and a representative form the City Attorney's Office will discuss its lawsuit over a desalination expansion project proposed by Sweetwater Authority. Deputy City Attorneys Carmen Brock and Glenn Spitzer are the lawyers assigned to the two cases.

On Monday of last week, Goldsmith appeared on KUSI to announce that he was putting an end to closed session meetings until Mayor Filner can stop verbally assaulting his employees.

"[The treatment from Filner] has been consistent, and it's been abuse. It's been harassment and it's been an effort to keep us from doing our job,'' Goldsmith said during the July 1 interview.

"There will be no closed sessions until we work this out, and what I really need is the mayor, with the support of the police chief and the City Council leadership to come forward and promise that this will not happen again.''

But Goldsmith can still decide to stick to his guns by refusing to staff the meeting. And the meeting could be an attempt by Council President Todd Gloria to ease the tensions at City Hall. His office is in charge of preparing and posting the closed session agendas.

Gloria has criticized the two sides for their ongoing feud. He has even offered to act as a mediator in hopes of ending the squabble. Gloria's office was unaware of any mediation between the parties.

"The Council President calls closed session meetings as part of his docketing duties and understands the City Attorney will be participating," said Gloria's Chief of Staff.

I contacted City Attorney's Office for more information on the closed session meeting but did not hear back in time for publication (query was sent early Sunday morning).

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Visduh July 7, 2013 @ 9:01 a.m.

Could it be that the "staff" at the meeting will be Goldy himself? That would be one way to bring the matter to a head. In a showdown like this, the first one to blink just might emerge as the winner, not loser.


Dorian Hargrove July 7, 2013 @ 10:05 a.m.

That could be the case, Visduh. The agenda doesn't say who, if anyone, will be attending from the City Attorney's Office. Given that it's a Sunday and all, I doubt I will hear from Goldsmith's spokesperson today. As for the first one who blinks, considering Goldsmith's week I'd say he's already blinked and probably will not be viewed as a winner regardless of the outcome of the closed session meeting. Who knows? --dh


SurfPuppy619 July 7, 2013 @ 10:27 a.m.

I expect Filner to tear Goldie, or his rep, a new ass after the Jeff Olson debacle............


Dorian Hargrove July 8, 2013 @ 7:09 a.m.

Scratch that last comment. The agenda did list the names of the Deputy City Attorneys who will be present at the meeting. So, I guess that means Goldsmith blinked. I'm still waiting to hear back from his spokesperson.


sarahguzman July 8, 2013 @ 5:51 a.m.

Goldsmith has no choice in the matter. The llttigation will continue running it's course through the courts. The City Attorney has no choice but to get directions from the City Council and the Mayor. Goldsmith grandstanding has no teeth.


Visduh July 8, 2013 @ 8:02 p.m.

Goldy has some options open to him that he has not used. One would be to go to court and ask for an injunction against the mayor and council from forcibly removing his representative(s) from such meetings. That he has not taken that approach means that he's going to try, at least, to act responsibly in the matter. (Sorry folks, that I'm saying he will do anything responsible after this recent misbegotten prosecution of the chalk protestor.) If that fails, I'd expect him to be in front of a friendly judge, pleading for relief.


BlueSouthPark July 8, 2013 @ 4:51 p.m.

You scooped'em, Dorian. UT just announced today that closed sessions are back on, though Goldy said they wouldn't resume till Filner assured him that none of Goldy's crew would mistreated. The money quote form Goldy was this: "Based upon my conversations with council President Gloria and Chief Lansdowne, I am confident that there will not be a repeat of June 18 or other types of abuse of city employees in closed session," Goldsmith wrote. "I am not going to say more beyond that."

That'll be a welcome silence.

Ha! Where's Filner in that conversation? And Lansdowne???


Dorian Hargrove July 8, 2013 @ 7:24 p.m.

Goldsmith's spokesperson sent the same statement this morning. I wasn't able to get it in there. Here's the email:

"Closed session will be held on Tuesday. Based upon the City Attorney's conversations with Council President Gloria and Chief Lansdowne, he is confident that there will not be a repeat of June 18 or other types of abuse of City employees in closed session."

Thanks, BSP!--dh


Psycholizard July 8, 2013 @ 5:57 p.m.

Seems to me that those who can't take verbal abuse aren't really attorneys. That's part of the job. Goldsmith will never live down that chalking case, and if he can't take contempt and ridicule he has no choice but to retire. Hiding will not help, it only makes him more ridiculous.


nostalgic July 9, 2013 @ 7:46 a.m.

So, Bob Filner is a growly boss. This sounds like government employees have never lived in a real world. If I left every job where the boss was less than kindly, I would be continuously unemployed. If the chairman of a meeting told me to sit down, I probably would. Because I wanted to stay employed. This is not a factor in these stories. Mayor Filner is the boss of the city. Some people just don't like that.


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