All morning I wondered what Gloria Allred and Mayor Bob Filner’s ex-fiance, Bronwyn Ingram, would say at an early afternoon press conference.
It’s fair to say I was totally confused when it finally came on. Allred blasted a settlement proposal some thought she was a part of and Ingram gave us a pep talk of sorts, if not a lecture, on civic participation.
Over time it became clear what had happened. The city pulled the football out before Allred could kick it.
Here’s what I mean. I was waiting for someone to lead the charge against a deal with Filner that might include his resignation. The idea that the city might have to pay anything or help Filner out is repugnant to many, and it wouldn’t take a guy like Carl DeMaio long to turn it into an odious crime against taxpayers.
But I had no idea Allred would step to that role. She called a deal with Filner a “callous and unholy” arrangement that would hurt taxpayers.
Her remarks, however, help us understand what it is that the City Council is considering settling. It’s not her suit against the city.
No, the settlement proposal is for the city’s suit against Filner. Remember, when Allred sued the mayor and the city, the City Council turned around and also sued the mayor in a cross complaint.
In other words, Filner has agreed to resign if the city drops its suit against him and does something else. That something else is what we’ll have to wait until tomorrow to review. It likely is some sort of agreement to help Filner pay for his lawyer as he faces Allred’s wrath.
The city, if it secures Filner’s resignation, would then only have to defend itself from Allred. And Allred, in turn, goes from suing the city and its monster mayor, who won’t step down, to suing the city and a regular guy named Bob Filner.
Her suit becomes just another suit the city faces.
To get Filner to do this, the city attorney and Councilmen Todd Gloria and Kevin Faulconer likely agreed to help him with some part of the potential financial ruin a protracted fight with Allred might cause.
Some might find that unacceptable. But no chief executive mired in lawsuits and controversy is going to leave a huge organization without doing whatever he can to protect himself.
Allred might be sincerely worried about San Diego taxpayers. She might want Filner to face the fire and financial ruin. But she would consider a more global settlement if she were included.
The city attorney and Council leadership look like they wanted to deal with Allred separately from how they deal with the mayor they want to dump.
The question now is whether the rest of the City Council is OK with what Gloria and Faulconer came up with.
Allred is not. She wanted to attack a monster mayor. Not a city and its taxpayers.