By Andy Cohen
Former San Diego mayor Bob Filner pleaded guilty to three criminal counts yesterday in San Diego Superior Court, according to the California State Attorney General’s office. As a part of a plea deal, Filner pled guilty to one felony count of false imprisonment and two misdemeanor counts of battery.
The deal puts an end to one of the most troubling periods in San Diego’s complicated political history, and closes the book on one of the city’s most polarizing political figures. Filner resigned from office on August 23.
Under the agreement, Filner will avoid imprisonment, but will be required to be placed in home confinement for three months, in addition to three years of probation. The 71 year old Filner’s political career is officially at an end, as the deal prohibits the former school board member, San Diego City Council, and member of Congress from ever seeking or holding public office again. Filner was elected Mayor of San Diego in November, 2012, the first Democrat to do so in nearly two decades, after serving 20 years in the United States Congress.
In addition, Filner will be required to forfeit his mayoral pension from the period of March 6, 2013, when the first crime is said to have occurred, to the date of his resignation. He will be required to undergo treatment from a mental health professional for the duration of his probation, and will also not be allowed to serve on a jury or own a firearm during that time.
“This conduct was not only criminal, it was also an extreme abuse of power,” said California Attorney General Kamala Harris in a statement. “This prosecution is about consequence and accountability. No one is above the law.”
The criminal complaint filed against Filner lists three separate charges: False imprisonment by violence, fraud, menace, and deceit, having occurred on March 6, 2013; and two counts of battery, one on April 6, 2013, and the second on May 25, 2013. The victims in the complaint were kept anonymous.
A special election to choose Filner’s replacement will be held on November 19. If no candidate earns a full majority of the votes, a top-two runoff election must be held within 49 days according to the city charter.
Read the Attorney General’s press release here.
Read the criminal complaint here.