Former embattled San Diego mayor Bob Filner spent New Year’s Day at home Wednesday, serving the first day of his three-month house arrest sentence in connection with the sexual harassment scandal that ended his term as mayor in 2013.
San Diego County Probation Department spokesperson Sarah Gordon told NBC 7 that Filner’s house arrest sentence – ordered by a San Diego judge on Dec. 9 – went into effect on Jan. 1.
Filner will spend the next 90 days under house arrest under specific terms, including wearing a GPS monitoring attachment that will track his location, Gordon confirmed. He must stay confined to his residential building and is subject to searches at any time, as well as unannounced visits from his probation officer.
The plea agreement guidelines ordered at the time of Filner’s sentencing also require Filner to undergo mental health counseling. He’s allowed to leave his home to attend those counseling sessions.
However, Gordon said Filner must obtain special permission from his probation officer in order to leave his house for other things, including non-mental health-related medical appointments.
After Filner completes his 90 days of home confinement, Gordon said he will still have to check in with his probation officer and be subject to unannounced searches and visits.
Per his sentencing, Filner will also serve three years of probation.
If he doesn’t violate his probation within the next 18 months, Gordon said there is a chance Filner could be placed on something called “probation with the court,” where he would be required to check in with the courts as needed rather than being under the supervision of a probation officer.
If he violates his probation within the three years, Gordon said Filner could be ordered to serve up to 270 days in jail.
Under his punishment, Filner is not allowed to contact any of his victims. He must agree not to seek or hold public office and surrender his city retirement..
Back inn October, the former congressman pleaded guilty to felony false imprisonment and two misdemeanor charges of battery involving victims of sexual harassment.
Those victims, identified in court documents as “Jane Doe 1, 2 and 3,” included a businesswoman who claimed Filner held her against her will and kissed her at a fundraiser. Another victim was the daughter of a longtime supporter who was grabbed by Filner while taking a photo with her family.
Those women were among a slew of others who accused the former mayor of inappropriate behavior and sexual advances during the Filner scandal.
The accusations against Filner first went public in July when many of his former allies, including former San Diego City Councilmember Donna Frye, exposed his behavior and demanded he step down from office.
From there, more than a dozen women came forward with stories of sexual harassment at the hands of Filner, including former communications director to the mayor, Irene McCormack Jackson, who filed a lawsuit against the City of San Diego.
On Nov. 19, San Diego held a special election to fill the mayor’s seat left vacant by Filner.
Councilmember Kevin Faulconer finished first in last month's special mayoral election, securing one of two spots in the February runoff for Filner's former seat. Councilmember David Alvarez, who came in second place, will face off against Faulconer in February.