A plan to protect the city of San Diego, and possibly females of all ages on both sides of the border, may remind some of an incident in the 1980s involving a Councilman who resigned for misusing city credit cards.
With KUSI reporting that Nancy Pelosi is still irritated with the Mayor's behavior, and reminding folks that "numerous political and business figures have demanded Filner's resignation," Filner is still Mayor.
The San Diego City Council and City Atty. Jan Goldsmith, according to a report from the LATimes, may soon be using an obscure part of the City Charter to force Mayor Bob Filner's removal, due to questions raised by council members about Filner's trip to Paris which he made with two San Diego police officers.
A memo from Goldsmith to council members, quoted by the Times:
"... every city officer who willfully approves or allows an unauthorized payment from the city treasury is subject to removal from office."
The airfare and other expenses totalled $21,244, per the Times, so the payment from the city treasury is important. Also mentioned is that City Atty. Goldsmith will suggest to the council at its Aug. 28 meeting that perhaps using a city charter provision (Section 108, approved by voters in 1931) about removal of "officers" for misusing public money might be invoked in this particular situation.
If the council authorizes use of the section against Filner, Goldsmith said, his office could then file a request with the Superior Court. There seems to be different amounts stated for how much the Paris trip charges were, however.
Local Fox5sandiego reported Goldsmith was confident he has enough information to prove Filner has misused funds. They quoted the city attorney:
“An unauthorized trip to Paris, that cost the city over $30,000, that’s one example."
Further, Deputy City Attorney Carrie Gleeson wrote that the city would have to go to court to enforce the charter section, however and Fox5 reports that a memo was released on the same day it was learned Mayor Bob Filner’s city-issued credit card was cancelled by Chief of Staff Lee Burdick.
That apparently was "a little over two weeks ago," according to Fox5.
The president of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, who was also on the staff of Councilman Carl DeMaio per the story at Fox5, wondered about the money.
Felipe Monroig, stated:
“Time and again we see taxpayer dollars spent questionably and without adequate explanation from the Mayor’s office. Where’s the accountability?”
“City credit cards cannot be used for personal expenses, period,” Monroig said.
Regarding the alleged misuse of public money, the Times states that the San Diego County Taxpayers Assn. asserted Thursday that "... of the mayor's $11,095 in credit card expenses, nearly $1,000 were for personal items, including pizzas, juicers and expensive lunches."
Though Section 108 has never been used to remove a San Diego elected official, according to the Times, there is precedent for an official being removed from office for misusing a city credit card in 1986, when then-Councilman Uvaldo Martinez resigned as part of a plea bargain with the district attorney and his replacement was a former school board member and San Diego State history professor: Bob Filner.
The Twitter account for Nancy Pelosi minced no words:
"Mayor Filner is out of rehab, he should be out of the Mayor’s Office — should not subject San Diegans to pain & expense of a recall."