Report: Grand jury could push Filner out

Report: Grand jury could push Filner out

sdcgrandjuryCounty grand juries are often derided in Southern California for the spotty quality of their work, at least when it comes to their reports on government agencies. But in San Diego, they could ride to the rescue if other efforts to oust serial cad/harasser Bob Filner fail. This Logan Jenkins column explains:

“So far, three plausible checkmates have received the most attention: resignation … ; recall, if more than 100,000 signatures can be gathered in the relative blink of an eye; and criminal prosecution, a clear-cut verdict even our thick-skinned mayor could not ride out.

“Less remarked upon, however, is the rarely invoked Section 3060 in the California Government Code that empowers county grand juries to bring accusations of ‘willful or corrupt misconduct in office’ against public officials.

“If the grand jury gives its blessing, a Superior Court trial can take place. If found guilty of one or more accusations, the official is removed from office. No civil or criminal penalties are imposed. (As I understand it, criminal cases and civil lawsuits can take their own course.)

“In 2002, the mayor of Mountain View, a city in Santa Clara County, was accused of violating the city’s charter by skirting the city manager’s authority for gain.

“Empowered by 3060, the grand jury heard evidence and charged the mayor. The Superior Court jury found the mayor guilty not of corruption but of  ‘knowing and willful misconduct.’

“Just like that, Mayor Mario Ambra was thrown out of office.”

‘Progressive paranoids for Filner’

Meanwhile, some of San Diego’s hard left are standing by their man, as I wrote about in a brief editorial:

“It doesn’t take long for followers of local social media and news websites to come upon defenders of Mayor Bob Filner offering conspiracy theories to explain his current troubles. Not just commenters but some San Diego alternative journalists — especially self-styled ‘progressives’ — suggest the real reason Filner is facing sharp criticism is because he has crossed powerful downtown business interests. …

“This scandal — and it is a real one — began a month ago when three of the mayor’s longtime liberal allies denounced his treatment of women. Since then, there has been a parade of women coming forward with credible stories about Filner’s harassment or unwanted advances.

“This has led scores of the mayor’s fellow Democratic elected officials, including Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, to call for his resignation. At this point, it’s astounding that anyone would see these developments as part of a nefarious scheme.

“On the other hand, it may be the best defense they can come up with for Mayor Grabby Grabby.”

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