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Mayor's Former Aide Describes a Humiliating Work Environment

The mayor says he’s reflecting on his behavior after two top aides left.

Allen Jones, the longtime ally of Mayor Bob Filner, the one who set up his transition to mayor and worked as his deputy chief of staff said he resigned because of the mayor’s repeated humiliation of members of his staff.

“On a number of occasions, I talked about how I thought the way the mayor interacted with and treated mayoral staff and members of boards and commissions and others was demeaning and abusive. And it, most importantly, undermined his ability to pursue the progressive agenda he campaigned on,” Jones said.

He said he couldn’t stand it any longer.

“When I see mayor’s staff treated in that demeaning of a manner so often, if I remained, I believed I was being complicit in sustaining that abusive environment and I can’t do that,” Jones said.

Filner said the controversial Sunroad issue didn’t play a part in Jones’ resignation.

“He disagreed with the way I was conducting the office,” Filner acknowledged in a press conference Friday. He also confirmed that communications director Irene McCormack resigned alongside Jones.

The mayor described a staff meeting in which Jones had brought up concerns about the way Filner was treating staff. When Jones said he was leaving, Filner said he asked if anyone else wanted to, and McCormack said she did.

When a reporter asked the mayor if he was going to be reflecting on his behavior or toning down his style, Filner said he would.

“Clearly, anybody who’s intelligent would have to undergo some self-examination, which I have and which we’re trying to deal with. So yes, the answer’s yes,” Filner said.

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