Whistleblower Account of Filner Behavior Appears to Involve City Schools Chief

Whistleblower Account of Filner Behavior Appears to Involve City Schools Chief

File photos

Cindy Marten and Bob Filner

An incident reported by an intern between Mayor Bob Filner and an education official appears to involve new San Diego Unified Superintendent Cindy Marten.

A legal declaration from a former intern for Filner obtained by KPBS described seeing Filner come on to a woman after a press conference in La Jolla and discussing it with a member of the mayor’s security detail.

Then the former intern, Christopher J. Baker, said he saw something he called more disturbing.

Baker described a situation where the mayor was filling in on a morning radio show, and spoke with “a high level education administrator.”

“After the show concluded the mayor disappeared with her down a dark hallway beyond unlit cubicles (it was early in the morning and the show’s staff were not present),” the declaration reads. “As the mayor disappeared behind a corner, a member of the mayor’s security detail came running up to me and asked where he went. I responded by explaining that he was down the dark hallway with the woman, after which the member of the detail let out a defeated sign and awaited the mayor’s return.”

Baker did not name the woman.

But evidence points to Marten. Filner hosted an AM radio show on June 13. Marten appeared as a guest.

Baker’s attorney, Marco Gonzalez, declined to directly confirm whether Marten was the educator referenced in the declaration. But Gonzalez said he wasn’t aware of Filner appearing on the radio with any high-level education official other than Marten.

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to go into the records and see who Bob has been on the radio with,” said Gonzalez, who was among the original group of three to ask Filner to step down.

Marten, through a spokesman, declined to comment.

Another guest on the show said she didn’t see anything out of the ordinary or inappropriate between Filner and Marten.

Vicki Estrada, a planner who appeared on the show, said she believed Marten left the station once her segment was over. Estrada had arrived early and spent about 15 minutes with Filner and Marten in the studio.

“Everything to me seemed on the level,” Estrada said.

Estrada left immediately after her interview and didn’t see Marten when she walked out.

Baker doesn’t give more details in the declaration about what might have happened between Filner and the administrator, and there’s no indication that any sexual harassment was involved.

But Baker said that the incident made him uncomfortable and went against his ethics. He reported what happened to Filner spokeswoman Lena Lewis, who told him to report any subsequent incidents to her immediately, the declaration said.

Update: After this story published, former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña called to say Marten was one of the six prominent women she spoke with two years ago about Filner physically or verbally harassing them before Saldaña reported the issue to local Democratic Party leadership. The intern’s story, Saldaña said, “matches up with something I heard from Cindy two years ago.” Saldana declined to detail what Marten told her.

Scott Lewis contributed reporting.

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Liam Dillon

Liam Dillon

Liam Dillon is senior reporter and assistant editor for Voice of San Diego. He leads VOSD’s investigations and writes about how regular people interact with local government. What should he write about next? Please contact him directly at liam.dillon@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5663.

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19 comments
Jim Withers
Jim Withers

This article makes it official. The VOSD is now the San Diego chapter of the National Enquirer.

Jim Withers
Jim Withers subscriber

This article makes it official. The VOSD is now the San Diego chapter of the National Enquirer.

Geral Sosbee
Geral Sosbee

The role of women in society is often marked by forced subservience to men. In response public policy and law now allow women to destroy men via allegations of sexual advances. This type of solution to complex social affairs is more destructive than curative and must be stopped. fbi/cia use women to entrap some political Targets as follows: assault the male Target with sexual advances and file affidavits against the man with secret courts. Then, the unethical and often corrupt judge later can have the man placed in a padded room for his own safety and for the safety of women. In some instances the female shows off her attributes, often opening her legs to reveal her new panties. Listen up girls, you are doing great damage to society by your venting in the manner described above your pent up frustration over your roles in this corrupt society. If men begin the same harassment of women, where would you then land! http://www.sosbeevfbi.com/mystory.html http://neworleans.indymedia.org/news/2013/07/18256.phpPart 1- My Story In Detailhttp://www.sosbeevfbi.com/mystory.htmlMy name is Geral W. Sosbee and I am a former Special Agent with the federal bureau of investigation (fbi), United States Department of Justice. I request that your good offices accept this letter with enclosures and that you kindly relay the informat...

Richard del Rio
Richard del Rio

I am confused about the timeline and logic of this story. How does Lori Saldana's conversation with Cindy Martin two year's ago corroborate the suspicious walk down the hallway? Does the author think Cindy Martin would put herself in that position--walking down a dark hallway-- if she already knew what Filner's mo was? This all seems ridiculously speculative until Cindy Martin speaks out. Regardless, Filner ought to resign based on the numerous credible accusations that have been made by the victims.

Richard del Rio
Richard del Rio subscriber

I am confused about the timeline and logic of this story. How does Lori Saldana's conversation with Cindy Martin two year's ago corroborate the suspicious walk down the hallway? Does the author think Cindy Martin would put herself in that position--walking down a dark hallway-- if she already knew what Filner's mo was? This all seems ridiculously speculative until Cindy Martin speaks out. Regardless, Filner ought to resign based on the numerous credible accusations that have been made by the victims.

Charles Zad
Charles Zad

San Diego Democratic Leadership Knew Of Filner Harassment Charges Two Years Ago, They supported Him For Mayor anyway And Did Nothing In Response to the women's complaints. Perverts and harassers are acceptable if they are Democrats.

Charles Zad
Charles Zad

Moral of the story: Perverts and harassers are acceptable if they’re Democrats.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

We already know that the democratic power structure worked hard to keep this behavior quiet. Is one of the methods they used promotion in exchange for silence?

Jim Jones
Jim Jones subscriber

We already know that the democratic power structure worked hard to keep this behavior quiet. Is one of the methods they used promotion in exchange for silence?

Richard Ross
Richard Ross

Ironically the U-T would like Filner to stay in office so it can continue to bash him and keep their circulation up.

Randy Dotinga
Randy Dotinga

That's not true. Members of the press heard about harassment allegations last year and looked into them but did not find evidence. Harassment is deeply humiliating and victims are not likely to talk about it all the time. And you forget that many members of the press are anything but fans of Filner personally due to the way he treats people.

Allen Hemphill
Allen Hemphill

What did they know (Everything!), and when did they know it (Decades). "They" by the way, includes various members of the press. Only the women with microphones were probably safe, protected by the microphone -- even Filner was not so stupid as to do anything on tape. Those who aided and abetted his actions need to be "outed," except that those who could do it were often part of the problem, either actively or passively. "Professional courtesy" protects the members of the press who were part of the problem, but they may look into the political process.

Richard Ross
Richard Ross subscribermember

Ironically the U-T would like Filner to stay in office so it can continue to bash him and keep their circulation up.

Randy Dotinga
Randy Dotinga memberauthor

That's not true. Members of the press heard about harassment allegations last year and looked into them but did not find evidence. Harassment is deeply humiliating and victims are not likely to talk about it all the time. And you forget that many members of the press are anything but fans of Filner personally due to the way he treats people.

Allen Hemphill
Allen Hemphill subscribermember

What did they know (Everything!), and when did they know it (Decades). "They" by the way, includes various members of the press. Only the women with microphones were probably safe, protected by the microphone -- even Filner was not so stupid as to do anything on tape. Those who aided and abetted his actions need to be "outed," except that those who could do it were often part of the problem, either actively or passively. "Professional courtesy" protects the members of the press who were part of the problem, but they may look into the political process.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

Sure Randy, it's not the presses fault, they didn't know and no one told them! After all, it's not the job of the press do do anything other than what they are told, is it?

Jim Jones
Jim Jones

Filner is a clever guy, he knows what he can get away with. He targeted women who wanted something from him, and I think it was not fear of humiliation that kept them quiet, but political expediency and tit for tat, so to speak. They put up with it not out of shame or humiliation, but to get paid back with political favors and special treatment for their cause. Likely this has been going on for decades. Then it changed and the political expediency on the left was to get rid of Filner, he has become a liability after Sunroad and Paris, those were starting to stink of corruption, so now the story breaks because the left is afraid of the fallout, this was the best way to replace a liability, to suddenly "discover" Filner liked to make a crude pass at anything in a skirt. Political expediency influences the press as well. No one really looked that deep into Filner, until he became a liability.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones subscriber

Sure Randy, it's not the presses fault, they didn't know and no one told them! After all, it's not the job of the press do do anything other than what they are told, is it?

Jim Jones
Jim Jones subscriber

Filner is a clever guy, he knows what he can get away with. He targeted women who wanted something from him, and I think it was not fear of humiliation that kept them quiet, but political expediency and tit for tat, so to speak. They put up with it not out of shame or humiliation, but to get paid back with political favors and special treatment for their cause. Likely this has been going on for decades. Then it changed and the political expediency on the left was to get rid of Filner, he has become a liability after Sunroad and Paris, those were starting to stink of corruption, so now the story breaks because the left is afraid of the fallout, this was the best way to replace a liability, to suddenly "discover" Filner liked to make a crude pass at anything in a skirt. Political expediency influences the press as well. No one really looked that deep into Filner, until he became a liability.