The Mayor’s Very Bad Week: Source Confirms But Filner Denies Departure of Top Aide

The Mayor’s Very Bad Week: Source Confirms But Filner Denies Departure of Top Aide

Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle

Mayor Bob Filner

City insiders were abuzz Thursday over rumors of a potential major shakeup in Mayor Bob Filner’s top leadership team. It came amid a week of scandal and drama.

Deputy Chief of Staff Allen Jones was seen walking out of City Hall with officers. Jones is the long-time Filner ally who, as a developer and lobbyist, is an expert on land-use. He’s a key liaison to the business and development communities.

Scott Lewis on Politics LogoThe Reader reported that he was “let go.” I heard he was fired.

But I appeared at an event Thursday with Filner and pulled him aside after to see if he could clear it up.

Here’s how our conversation went.

Did you fire Allen Jones?

I’m not going to talk about personnel issues.

Did he quit?

I’m not going to talk about it.

But he’s not working for you any longer?

As far as I know, he is.

As far as you know he is?

When I left the office, he was there.

Really?

You know what started this?

Me?

No, no, no, who did you hear something from?

I can’t say.

Well, I’ll tell you. There was a guy waiting for a meeting with me, [Former City Councilman Jim] Madaffer. He was waiting in the lobby. And Allen came down with some officers who were helping him move some boxes. All of a sudden, he’s “forcibly removed.”

So he’s not. He’s still part of your administration.

As far as I know.

OK.

So police officers were helping him move out some boxes? That’s all?

No.

A source at City Hall, who requested anonymity, says Jones resigned. And the mayor’s security detail — who are officers — helped him remove his boxes.

The source said Jones’ frustration had to do with the mayor’s treatment of his own staff. The mayor later asked him to reconsider and remain on staff.

Here’s the Reader’s take. Writer Dorian Hargrove has been pretty reliable on Filner insider drama.

According to a reliable source, Jones was let go today. Calls to the Mayor’s Office to confirm have gone unanswered.

In the past week, questions have been raised about Jones’s role in a $100,000 mystery donation from Sunroad to two of Mayor Filner’s pet projects. The checks were written after the Mayor had vetoed a permit issued to Sunroad, allowing the developer to ignore city setbacks and build on 9-feet of nearby parkland. Shortly after receiving the checks, the Mayor’s office went back on the refusal to ignore the setbacks and urged council to override the veto.

This Sunroad thing is snowballing into a full-blown scandal. Filner’s public statements on it have come pretty close to just acknowledging he changed his mind about a permitting issue because Sunroad donated to some city initiatives. They are worthwhile projects but still, yikes.

Then there was this mess in a closed session.

The mayor had a city attorney forcibly removed from closed session in an outburst that is not getting good reviews.

As much as he has accepted a contentious relationship with City Council President Todd Gloria, the mayor does not need a fellow Democrat bemoaning his behavior like this. Attorney Gil Cabrera, a Democrat, has a good take that follows Gloria’s point: People deserve more respect.

This was just a terrible week for a mayor, who had been on a winning streak.

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Scott Lewis

Scott Lewis

I'm Scott Lewis, the CEO of Voice of San Diego. Please contact me if you'd like at scott.lewis@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0527 and follow me on Twitter (it's a blast!): @vosdscott.

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36 comments
Richard Ross
Richard Ross

By contrast Interesting how the media ignored a great deal of corruption in the Mayor Sander's adminstration let alone as the SWAT team comander in his handling of the McDonald's massacure. I guess it was because Sanders was a Republican. Need one mention Sander's Republican predecessor, Dick Murphy, was described by TIME Magazine as one of the worst mayors in the country.

Richard Ross
Richard Ross subscribermember

By contrast Interesting how the media ignored a great deal of corruption in the Mayor Sander's adminstration let alone as the SWAT team comander in his handling of the McDonald's massacure. I guess it was because Sanders was a Republican. Need one mention Sander's Republican predecessor, Dick Murphy, was described by TIME Magazine as one of the worst mayors in the country.

Susan Brinchman
Susan Brinchman

Shall we review his past behavior? This is not going to get better. I recommend that he resigns or the voters do a recall. We can't have this impacting the city bonds and stopping all ability to conduct business. He is giving San Diego a black eye. 1. Rep. Filner Enters Plea in Criminal Trespass Case http://jonathanturley.org/2007/11/26/rep-filner-enters-plea-in-trespass-case/ 2. Fact Check: Filner's Legal Problem http://voiceofsandiego.org/2012/08/22/fact-check-filners-legal-problem/ 3. Rep. Filner Allegedly Freaks Out Over Lost Baggage http://voices.washingtonpost.com/sleuth/2007/08/congressman_allegedly_freaks_o.html

Susan Brinchman
Susan Brinchman subscriber

Shall we review his past behavior? This is not going to get better. I recommend that he resigns or the voters do a recall. We can't have this impacting the city bonds and stopping all ability to conduct business. He is giving San Diego a black eye. 1. Rep. Filner Enters Plea in Criminal Trespass Case http://jonathanturley.org/2007/11/26/rep-filner-enters-plea-in-trespass-case/ 2. Fact Check: Filner's Legal Problem http://voiceofsandiego.org/2012/08/22/fact-check-filners-legal-problem/ 3. Rep. Filner Allegedly Freaks Out Over Lost Baggage http://voices.washingtonpost.com/sleuth/2007/08/congressman_allegedly_freaks_o.html

Roger Jaffe
Roger Jaffe subscribermember

He's a bully... plain and simple.

John Pilch
John Pilch

Guess the bulldozer marks on Allen's backside were imaginary. Same for Ms. Gallardo.

John Pilch
John Pilch subscriber

Guess the bulldozer marks on Allen's backside were imaginary. Same for Ms. Gallardo.

Allen Hemphill
Allen Hemphill

The Mayor of San Diego is joining some interesting company: Winning politicians for whom no voters will admit having supported. Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter come immediately to mind.

Allen Hemphill
Allen Hemphill subscribermember

The Mayor of San Diego is joining some interesting company: Winning politicians for whom no voters will admit having supported. Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter come immediately to mind.

Richard Rider
Richard Rider

Scott, you might want to ask about Filner's Communications Director Irene McCormick. Apparently BOTH were summarily fired and escorted out of the building for daring to insist that Filner display some common sense and decency (characteristics he sorely lacks). BTW, based on your interview above with Hiz Honor, honesty is a characteristic Filner neither admires nor practices. It appears that others finally convinced Filner that he is indeed in deep legal do-do and he doesn't need this additional scandal. So reportedly last night Filner pleaded with the two to reconsider and to return to work, which apparently they did.

Richard Rider
Richard Rider subscribermember

Scott, you might want to ask about Filner's Communications Director Irene McCormick. Apparently BOTH were summarily fired and escorted out of the building for daring to insist that Filner display some common sense and decency (characteristics he sorely lacks). BTW, based on your interview above with Hiz Honor, honesty is a characteristic Filner neither admires nor practices. It appears that others finally convinced Filner that he is indeed in deep legal do-do and he doesn't need this additional scandal. So reportedly last night Filner pleaded with the two to reconsider and to return to work, which apparently they did.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

This is exactly what people voted for when they voted for Filner, he wasn't an unknown. He's hard to work with, harder to work for, and makes a huge amount of noise without getting much done. It's a fine set of attributes for DC, for running a city not so much.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones subscriber

This is exactly what people voted for when they voted for Filner, he wasn't an unknown. He's hard to work with, harder to work for, and makes a huge amount of noise without getting much done. It's a fine set of attributes for DC, for running a city not so much.

Don Wood
Don Wood

Lots of rumormongering going on, but please get readers the truth. Where did everything end up when the smoke cleared?

Don Wood
Don Wood subscriber

Lots of rumormongering going on, but please get readers the truth. Where did everything end up when the smoke cleared?

Bill Bradshaw
Bill Bradshaw

Maybe Filner just doesn't get along with people named Jones? Seriously, this situation is getting a bit scary. Filner has never been in a job where he had to run a big organization, and it appears the pressure is getting to him. What happens if he vetoes the decision by the council to restore the city attorney's proposed budget cuts?

Bill Bradshaw
Bill Bradshaw subscribermember

Maybe Filner just doesn't get along with people named Jones? Seriously, this situation is getting a bit scary. Filner has never been in a job where he had to run a big organization, and it appears the pressure is getting to him. What happens if he vetoes the decision by the council to restore the city attorney's proposed budget cuts?

Eduardo Stephano
Eduardo Stephano

Criticizing one's bad behavior while ignoring anthers similar bad behavior seems the sort of defense used by self-serving hypocrites.

Allen Hemphill
Allen Hemphill

Excusing bad behavior by citing other bad behavior seems the sort of defense used by poorly behaving children

Eduardo Stephano
Eduardo Stephano subscriber

Criticizing one's bad behavior while ignoring anthers similar bad behavior seems the sort of defense used by self-serving hypocrites.

Allen Hemphill
Allen Hemphill subscribermember

Excusing bad behavior by citing other bad behavior seems the sort of defense used by poorly behaving children

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

That's quite an insult, to Nixon and Carter.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones subscriber

That's quite an insult, to Nixon and Carter.

Ted Bohannon
Ted Bohannon

What about Cecilia Gallardo? Heard she found out that she was fired last Friday when she couldn't log into her email/computer anymore...then she was escorted out of the building.

Ted Bohannon
Ted Bohannon subscriber

What about Cecilia Gallardo? Heard she found out that she was fired last Friday when she couldn't log into her email/computer anymore...then she was escorted out of the building.

Scott Lewis
Scott Lewis administrator

I did. She was not fired.

Scott Lewis
Scott Lewis

I think we have to wait to see if Mr. Jones decides to return to work.

Scott Lewis
Scott Lewis administrator

I think we have to wait to see if Mr. Jones decides to return to work.

Ted Bohannon
Ted Bohannon

I believe his window for vetoing has passed.

Ted Bohannon
Ted Bohannon subscriber

I believe his window for vetoing has passed.

Scott Lewis
Scott Lewis

Ted, we wrote about her firing here. http://voiceofsandiego.org/2013/06/17/planning-commission-vote-voided-development-exec-ousted/Planning Commission Vote Voided; Development Exec Ousted - http://voiceofsandiego.org/2013/06/17/planning-commission-vote-voided-development-exec-ousted/Two new planning commissioners took their seats amid a swirl of drama last week and not long after, a leader in the city's Development Services Department lost her job. Hours after Mayor Bob Filner named a new planning chief, Theresa Quiroz and Antho...

Scott Lewis
Scott Lewis administrator

Ted, we wrote about her firing here. http://voiceofsandiego.org/2013/06/17/planning-commission-vote-voided-development-exec-ousted/Planning Commission Vote Voided; Development Exec Ousted - http://voiceofsandiego.org/2013/06/17/planning-commission-vote-voided-development-exec-ousted/Two new planning commissioners took their seats amid a swirl of drama last week and not long after, a leader in the city's Development Services Department lost her job. Hours after Mayor Bob Filner named a new planning chief, Theresa Quiroz and Antho...

Ted Bohannon
Ted Bohannon

You don't really believe he might return to work, right?

Ted Bohannon
Ted Bohannon subscriber

You don't really believe he might return to work, right?