Just before 7 p.m. Wednesday, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith appeared outside the downtown office building where mediation has been going on for three days to announce an agreement had been reached.An agreement has been reached that could affect the future for San Diego Mayor Bob Filner.
Goldsmith would not reveal any details of the proposal, but said an emergency closed-door meeting of City Council would be called Friday to vote on it.
Mayor Filner and his attorneys were present for the mediation presided over by Judge J. Lawrence Irving. Also present were attorneys representing the city. During the first day, attorney Gloria Allred and her client, Irene McCormack Jackson, were also involved.
McCormack Jackson has a sexual harassment lawsuit pending against Filner and the city of San Diego. She was the first of 18 women to come forward since mid-July, accusing the mayor of unwanted advances, groping and forced kissing. Three of the accusers are city employees.
At issue was the city's refusal to pay for Filner's legal defense, and Filner's refusal to step down as mayor in the wake of a series of scandals that tainted his office and impacted the city's business.
Goldsmith warned reporters not to pay attention to rumors about the settlement, saying the parties involved were pledged to confidentiality.
Earlier in the day, Filner was back in his office at City Hall. Spokeswoman Lena Lewis confirmed in a text message that he was "hard at work."
10News spotted Filner as he was leaving en route to the negotiations a few blocks away. When asked if he had plans to resign, the mayor responded "It's nice to see you."
Filner's last public appearance was a July 26 news conference in which he announced he would enter an inpatient behavioral therapy program. Some witnesses reported seeing him at City Hall four days later.
Mediation had been taking place in a downtown high-rise, possibly on the 17th floor. The participants, other than Filner, have included Goldsmith, City Council President Todd Gloria and Councilman Kevin Faulconer.
While sessions Monday and Tuesday began in the morning, Wednesday's meeting did not begin until mid-afternoon.
Sources have told Team 10 that Filner's resignation was part of the talks. Meanwhile, U-T San Diego reported that a key point in the discussion surrounded limiting the amount of money that the taxpayers and the city would have to pay McCormack Jackson.
The mayor has apologized publicly for what he called a failure to respect women and for his "intimidating conduct." However, he denied his actions have amounted to sexual harassment.
Earlier this month, he voluntarily underwent behavioral therapy at an inpatient facility. His lawyer said the mayor was continuing therapy on an outpatient basis.
Filner, who is also mired in investigations over alleged misuse of city-issued credit cards and shakedowns of developers, has so far rebuffed calls from all nine City Council members, other officeholders and business leaders to resign.
While the mediation sessions took place, organizers of an effort to recall Filner circulated petitions around the city. They need to turn in nearly 102,000 signatures to the City Clerk's Office by Sept. 26.
They reported Tuesday that 400 petitions had been returned to campaign headquarters. With 10 signatures each, that made the total 4,000 - not counting the thousands of forms that had not been turned in.