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Two counts of misdemeanor battery and one felony charge of false imprisonment bring some sense of closure to a months-long, citywide controversy.
Former Mayor Bob Filner’s plea deal Tuesday draws an embarrassing saga in San Diego politics to a close (though civil suits still loom).
Numerous women came forward in the months leading up to the Democratic mayor’s resignation, including four of the most powerful women in the region.
SEE MORE: Filner’s Mayorship in Photos
Filner pleaded guilty to two counts of misdemeanor battery and one felony count of false imprisonment,according to the official complaint against Filner by Attorney General Kamala Harris.
“This prosecution is about consequence and accountability,” Harris said in a statement. “No one is above the law.”
The felony complaint pointed to an incident on March 6, in which Filner “did unlawfully and intentionally violate the personal liberty of another” using “violence, menace, fraud, and deceit.” The victim was only identified as Jane Doe 1.
Two counts of battery, against Jane Doe 2 and Jane Doe 3 on April 6 and May 25, respectively, cited use of “force and violence.”
UPDATE: Watch Filner accept the charges, courtesy of NBC 7.
• The degree of severity varied in the accusers’ accounts of harassment by Filner, but all of them alleged sexually crude behavior. From Liam Dillon’s story:
“I was really rattled,” said retired Navy Rear Adm. Ronne Froman after alleging that Filner ran his finger up her cheek and asked her if she was single following a meeting in his congressional office a couple years ago. “I got in the car with the two guys I was working with and I told them never to leave me alone in a room with Bob Filner again.”
• In an exclusive interview with Voice of San Diego, former mayoral chief of staff Vince Hall backed up allegations made by Irene McCormack, Filner’s former spokeswoman.
Hall said he had never confronted Filner: “The mayor was my supervisor … We never had a personal conversation about any personal issue.”
• Growing evidence against the mayor left San Diego’s other leaders scrambling. The city struck a deal, in which Filner agreed to resign effective Aug. 30.
He also signed away his control over choosing his own defense – which meant his legal representation would be taxpayer-funded, up to $98,000.
• Filner stepped down with about as much grace as one might expect, delivering a speech inside City Council chambers. “Not one allegation, members of the council, has ever been independently verified or proven in court,” Filner said. “I have never sexually harassed anyone. But the hysteria that has been created, and many of you helped to feed, is the hysteria of a lynch mob.”
• To be clear, this glosses over many a media debacle posing as news nugget along the way. Here’s hoping Gloria Allred has learned to leave the signs at home while she continues representing McCormack in her separate lawsuit against Filner.
Now, under the plea agreement with the AG, the former mayor is required to surrender his pension from March 6 through Aug. 23. He will serve three years’ probation, plus home confinement for three months. He is not allowed to seek public office again, and cannot vote, serve on a jury or own a firearm while on probation.
Meanwhile, he’s required to work with a mental health professional during his probation. If he screws up any of these terms, he could face six months in jail.
U-T San Diego reported Filner also faces the lawsuit by McCormack and a city claim from a parks worker, while his handling of a Kearny Mesa development is under federal scrutiny as well.