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At Saturday’s Politifest, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said that he and his team of lawyers would give Mayor Bob Filner an “out” as legal troubles and costs mounted.
Scott Lewis called Goldsmith to follow up and ask what he meant. Lewis also talks to Bob Nelson, the port commissioner and Democratic maven who helped Filner get elected. Nelson confirmed that he sent a letter advising the mayor to resign and seek medical help.
Nelson also expanded in the comments on the article noting that he told the mayor that he had zero chance of surviving a recall.
More in the Filner crisis:
• “Hi, it’s your newly favorite congressman, Bob Filner. You know, the one who fell in love with you at your last speech.” So says the voice mail message left a year ago for a military veteran — a victim of rape during her service — who met the then-congressman at a “Healing and Hiring Fair,” according to CNN.
The president of a group that supports women veterans tells CNN that she knows of seven or eight women “who had varying encounters with Filner at the women’s veteran events, from groping to unwanted requests for dates.”
• Filner’s lawyer wants to move the harassment lawsuit against him to Imperial County, the Reader reports. That’s a sparsely populated Democratic county that Filner represented in Congress; he’s been popular there but the local paper this week said he’s gotta go.
• Months ago, when the mayor contracted with Walt Ekard to provide management consulting, he released a misleading statement about the term of Ekard’s contract, San Diego Fact Check reports.
• Who wants the mayor to quit? Who’s calling for due process or just remaining silent and (presumably) hoping nobody bothers to call? The U-T has published a couple handy lists to let you know who’s who.
The go-now-already side has a few new voices, including Christine Kehoe (former councilwoman, state legislator and person-who-might-run-for-mayor) and ex-Mayor Jerry Sanders. The rest, including people who have called for due process or haven’t said a thing, feature a president, a governor, a congressman, an assemblywoman and a state senator, all Dems.
• The San Diego Free Press is supposed to run a statement from a local organized labor this morning.
How Innovation Works (and Doesn’t) in San Diego
We’ve reached the end of our quest to understand the potential of innovation in San Diego and the challenges facing our most brilliant minds. Before we move on, here’s a capsule look at the challenges and questions our tech sectors face.
Links to previous stories, as always, are in blue type. Once you start reading the roundup, click on them to gain insight into the roots of innovation here, the challenges (including diversity and city involvement) and lingering questions.
• County Supervisor Greg Cox, who represents much of South County, lays out his vision for innovation in the region in a VOSD commentary . He focuses on the “blue economy” — “a fast-growing cluster of maritime-related companies and organizations representing 14 sectors including fish farming, desalination & clean water technology, shipbuilding, biomedicine, defense, marine recreation and ocean science.”
The Year in Death
The county medical examiner’s office is out with its 2012 statistics and they paint a grim picture due to legal and illegal: they’re both at high levels. How come? And what are the culprits? I interviewed Jonathan Lucas, the chief deputy medical examiner, to get the details.
You can read the interview here and learn how methamphetamine, Vicodin and Xanax are contributing to hundreds of deaths. You’ll also get insight into suicides (they’re up too, and one group is especially vulnerable) and the mystery of unexplained deaths.
• U-T San Diego has published a map of local murders since 2010.
Seafood Label 911
Clare Leschin-Hoar, VOSD’s food politics blogger, examines a disturbing new report that suggests mislabeled seafood could be costing consumers hundreds of dollars a year.
The Sad State of SD Ambulance Service
“Ambulances in San Diego are arriving late more often and getting away with it,” CityBeat reports in an investigative piece uncovering a startling lack of quality service to the city’s residents.
“Since 2011, a loophole in its contract has allowed the ambulance company to arrive late without penalty to more than 20,000 of the city’s most serious emergency 911 calls…,” CityBeat reports, based on documents. “Over the same time period, Rural/Metro was exempted from hundreds of 24-minute-response-time violations, in some cases taking more than 40 minutes to respond to an emergency call.”
Ambulances typically appear shortly after fire paramedics respond to medical emergencies. We published a major investigation last month about late fire department response times in some parts of the city.
Quick News Hits
• President Obama spoke at Camp Pendleton yesterday. You can watch the video of his speech via Politico.
• The agency that serves as a coalition of local governments is undergoing a rethink of its plans for the future of transportation in the region, Megan Burks reports. The agency, known as SANDAG, plans to focus more on poorer people and on increasing opportunities for walking and cycling.
• VOSD sports blogger Beau Lynott checks in on the Chargers preseason.
• If you’re a journalist and have a question about the mayor’s legal case, his lawyer would like you to call an Irvine law firm, the U-T reports.
The firm’s name? I am not making this up: It’s Payne & Fears.
Well, to borrow a law firm name long conjured by comedians, at least it’s not Dewey, Cheatem and Howe.
Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and vice president of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. Please contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.