Bob Filner, Ex-San Diego Mayor, Gets House Arrest For Harassment
The ex-mayor left office in disgrace last summer after as many as 19 women came forward to allege sexual harassment on the 71-year-old's part. Following an investigation by the San Diego Sheriff's Department, the state Attorney General today announced that Filner is going down:
The onetime congressman has agreed to plead guilty to ne count of felony false imprisonment and two counts of misdemeanor battery, Attorney General Kamala Harris announced today.
He entered his pleas in San Diego Superior Court.
Besides mental health treatment and possible restitution, the A.G.'s office laid out the other terms of the ex-mayor's prosecution:
Filner must surrender his Mayoral pension from the date the felony was committed (March 6, 2013) until the date he resigned office (August 23, 2013). He will serve probation for three years and home confinement for three months. The agreement also prohibits Filner from ever seeking or holding public office again. As a consequence of the felony plea, Filner may not vote, serve on a jury or own a firearm while he is on probation.
The case involves a March 6 use of force to subdue a woman at a fundraiser, an April 6 unwanted kiss at a "Meet the Mayor" event, and a May 25 incident in which he touched the bottom of a woman who posed for a photo with him at a Fiesta Island clean-up, according to the felony complaint.
It has been a strange saga -- a liberal mayor pursued by the conservative San Diego County Sheriff's Department, which even established a hotline that victims could call.
But Filner was ultimately undone by his own people, including former councilwoman Donna Frye, a liberal icon in San Diego and the wife of legendary surfboard shaper Skip Frye: She was the first person to bring the sexual harassment allegations to light.
He's not out of the woods yet: One woman, represented by L.A.'s Gloria Allred, is suing him, and so is a parks employee. The City Council cut a deal with Filner to cover his defense in one of the two suits in exchange for his resignation.
But this could close the book on red-letter Filner headlines for the city of San Diego. A.G. Harris:
This conduct was not only criminal, it was also an extreme abuse of power. This prosecution is about consequence and accountability. No one is above the law.