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Twenty-four hours before San Diego’s City Council is scheduled to vote on a deal that would likely result in Mayor Bob Filner’s resignation, celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred tried to blow it up.
Allred’s been one of the loudest voices urging Filner to resign, so her eleventh hour attempt to derail the deal was a surprise.
At a press conference from her Los Angeles office, Allred said any agreement that would result in Filner receiving taxpayer dollars or protection would be “callous and unholy.” She echoed an argument that’s emerged since Wednesday night’s announcement of a deal: Taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay a dime to make Filner go away.
Allred, who appeared with Filner’s ex-fiancée Bronwyn Ingram for some reason, said that the city’s proposed settlement with Filner had nothing to do with the sexual harassment lawsuit she filed on behalf of the mayor’s former spokeswoman Irene McCormack. It means that her suit, against Filner and the city, would go on after the mayor’s out of office, with presumably taxpayers footing all or some of the legal bills or potential payout.
“I think it is not appropriate for the city of San Diego to provide a gift of public funds to the sexual harasser that is the mayor to help him to fight the victim in the sexual harassment lawsuit, which we’ve filed,” Allred said.
Others have been talking about a potential deal since it came to light. Conservative radio host Mike Slater, for instance, called the proposed settlement, the exact terms of which aren’t known, the “Filner bailout.” Nearly 200 back-and-forth comments on this argument were posted on an anti-Filner Facebook page as of mid-Thursday afternoon.
The question, of course, is whether Allred’s plea matters.
It seems highly unlikely that City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, Council President Todd Gloria and de facto Republican minority leader Councilman Kevin Faulconer present a settlement they didn’t think the rest of the Council would support. Only substantial public pressure or related concerns about the political fallout from giving Filner anything would likely throw a wrench in the deal.