San Diego Mayor Bob Filner met with city leaders at a downtown law firm on Monday after being out of the office for more than three weeks.
The mayor is accused of sexually harassing multiple women and has since faced calls to resign, in addition to a formal recall effort. He recently returned from a two-week stint at an intensive therapy program, followed by a week off according to his staff.
The mayor talked to San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria, Councilman Kevin Faulconer and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, in addition to high-profile lawyer Gloria Allred.
Allred is representing Filner’s former communications director Irene McCormack Jackson, who claims Filner said inappropriate things to her while serving as mayor. Jackson has since filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Filner and the city.
After Monday's meeting, Allred spoke to the media and revealed that retired judge Lawrence Irving is presiding over the mediation. She said Irving instructed them not to comment.
"The mediation is ongoing," Allred said.
City Attorney Goldsmith appeared outside the building soon after and repeated the same words, refusing to comment more as instructed by the mediator.
"To be continued," Councilmember Faulconer said as the leaders left the building.
He has been one of Filner's biggest critics, and runs the Audit Committee which is looking into the mayor's Paris trip.
Jan Goldsmith has filed a legal case that Filner should be liable for all costs from the McCormack Jackson litigation.
City Council President Todd Gloria participated in the mediation because he'd become acting mayor if Filner steps down.
The mayor's truck left the building where mediation took place around 7:30 p.m. Filner hadn't been seen in public since July 26.
Filner's the target of investigations by the U.S. Attorney, State Attorney General and San Diego County Sheriff's Department.
Legal analysts say Filner's lawyers would want a global settlement of whatever criminal and civil "exposure" he faces, before he would step down.
Earlier in the day, Filner supporters gathered, saying the mayor should be allowed to defend himself in court. During the same time, congressional candidate Carl DeMaio called for San Diegans to participate in the effort to recall Filner.