Juvenile justice: The latest from San Diego Mayor Bob Filner

April 16, 2013

By Chris Reed

Sideshow.Bob.FilnerNewly elected San Diego Mayor Bob Filner basically owes his political career to the courage he showed as a Freedom Rider in the early 1960s. It’s the card he plays to cast himself in a better light whenever anyone notices all the different ways he shows he’s a bully with a wide mean streak.

But it’s not a card he can use with Andrew Jones, the no. 2 attorney in the San Diego City Attorney’s Office. The mayor’s 2013-14 budget, released Monday, only targets one agency for cuts: the City Attorney’s Office, an obvious and petty outgrowth of Filner’s attempt to depict City Attorney Jan Goldsmith as his version of Emmanuel Goldstein.

Not only does Filner’s 2013-14 spending plan call for cuts, supporting documents specify whom should be laid off by the city attorney.

Which brings us to the saga of Andrew Jones:

“At least one of the 13 city attorney employees whose job would be eliminated said he felt he was being personally targeted by Filner for standing up to him.

“Executive Assistant City Attorney Andrew Jones, Goldsmith’s second-in-command, said he has shut down meetings with Filner in which the mayor treated attorneys poorly by shouting and screaming at them.

“’He’s (verbally) attacked me in closed session to the extent that at one point he asked if I would sit in the back of the room,’ said Jones, who is black. ‘I, of course, considered it something similar to asking Rosa Parks to sit in the back of the bus. I was extremely offended by it but in deference to my boss I decided not to make a big deal out of it. But clearly he has a problem with me. I’m not sure why.’

“Filner, a longtime civil rights activist, participated in the famous Freedom Rides as a teenager in 1961.”

That’s our Bob Filner. Down here in San Diego, we’re all very proud of him.

OK, maybe not.

But for journalists, there’s no question he is our fodder figure.

 



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