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The embattled, embroiled, embarrassed mayor of San Diego still has his title. But his new COO now has plenty of power too. That could give a big break to the notoriously micro-managing Bob Filner and allow the city leadership to run smoothly once again.

VOSD’s Scott Lewis examines what this all means and comes up with a conclusion: The move to bring former county boss Walt Ekard on board is a sign that the mayor’s office wants to smooth things over with the business community.

Did it work? Maybe. “Far from calling for the mayor to resign as a super-majority of the City Council and others have done, the business community was rallying support for Ekard,” Lewis writes. “Welcome to the new order: Filner can have his little office. The Responsible People are taking over.”

• Filner has agreed to give the keynote address at a benefit for sexual assault victims, 10 News reports.

• KPBS, one of the leaders in coverage of the ongoing Filner scandal, offers a comprehensive timeline of the harassment allegations against the mayor.

• NBC 7 San Diego quotes an unnamed woman who describes being near Filner almost every day and being disturbed by his intimate behavior: “It’s a different hug. The way he hugged me …. You could feel it’s different.”

• Los Angeles Times columnist Robin Abcarian chronicles Filner’s woes, notes his ex-fiancee’s allegations of instability and says in print what many San Diegans are thinking: “This doesn’t sound like a problem, it sounds like a disease.”

The Potential Cost of a Renegade Mayor

So who gets to pay if the city gets socked with a lawsuit over the mayor’s behavior? You. (Well, at least if you live in the city.) And ever more importantly, me. (Since I do live here.)

VOSD reporter Lisa Halverstadt explores the ins and outs of lawsuits, city settlements and taxpayer responsibilities when a mayor goes rogue.

In North Park, a Jumbo Bid to Stop Jack in the Box

We take a look at the fate of a controversial renovation of a Jack in the Box restaurant in North Park. The mayor wants to shut the project down, but legal issues could snarl things. This time, though, Filner seems to be playing along with rules set by Jan Goldsmith about when a project can be shut down.

Fact Check: Work Force Claim Misses Mark

Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, a former councilwoman, wants Filner to quit, and she made a point of mentioning that at least half of the city’s 20,000 workers are women. But, as San Diego Fact Check finds, her numbers are way off. And Fact Check TV looks at the cost to repair the city’s infrastructure.

Voices: Women in Science, Veteran Medical Care

• Jacqueline Ward, a graduate student in the biomedical sciences field, offers a personal perspective on the topic of women in science. Meanwhile, a similar conversation was unfolding in the comments of a recent Kelly Bennett story. As Dagny Salas notes, several readers are weighing in about ways to enable women entrepreneurs.

• Gary Barthel, a partner with Higgs Fletcher & Mack, offers thoughts about how veterans can get proper medical care.

Correcting the Record

The Morning Report yesterday incorrectly said Filner gave interviews to interviewers from KUSI and 10 News. In fact, he talked to KUSI and News 8.

I misinterpreted an online story posted by 10News about the KUSI interview. Sorry about that.

Quick News Hits

• The weekly Culture Report roundup looks at wire sculptures, Comic-Con, a rapping yoga instructor and more.

• The Reader tracks an epic six-year battle between U-T San Diego publisher Doug Manchester and the city over permit violations at his Grand Del Mar hotel.

• Comic-Con is almost here, meaning it’s time for every headline writer on earth to embrace the joys of words like “POW!”, “BAM!” and “ZOWIE!”

It’s also time for convention-goers to learn how to control themselves, Wired magazine reports. It offers a guide to being respectful to others. Among the tips: “Pay attention to the signals other people are sending you,” “Respect everyone else’s space” and “Ask permission, not forgiveness — and keep your eyes up.”

Zowie. That’s good advice.

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Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com...

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