Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner gave $86K in raises before resigning

Bob Filner handed out $86,000 in raises to several of his staff members prior to resigning in disgrace as mayor of San Diego, a local television station revealed.

Mr. Filner authorized the raises before leaving office amid a sexual harassment lawsuit and allegations by 19 different women, including city employees, that he was sexually inappropriate with them.

The Democrat’s press secretary, Lena Lewis, got the biggest salary hike from $82,500 in July to $115,000 the next month, ABC 10 News reported.

Mr. Filner’s protocol officer Molly Chase earned $65,000, up from $50,000 the month before. His binational affairs manager Mario Lopez also had a $15,000 increase, the report said.

Ms. Chase, Mr. Lopez and Ms. Lewis now work under interim mayor Todd Gloria, who adjusted their salaries once he took office.

The former mayor gave out several other raises, that Mr. Gloria did not adjust, even though most of them continue working as community outreach representatives.

“I’m not aware of any illegality from doing this,” San Diego County Taxpayers Association President Felipe Monroig told ABC 10 News. “Is it ethical? I think it’s wrong.”

San Diego City Councilman Scott Sherman said the move raises concerns.

“Knowing everything we know about Bob Filner up to this point, for these things to be given out while he’s walking out the door is a little suspicious,” he said. “It looks like on the face, it’s him paying off those who enabled him while he was in office,” Mr. Sherman said.

Mr. Gloria said Tuesday that he did not know what prompted Mr. Filner to give the raises.

“I respect the right of each administration to determine the value of its staff members,” he told the station. “Obviously, the raises at the last minute call in all kinds of questions, but again, that was a decision he made, it’s another decision that I’ve reversed and it’s probably more of many more to come as we try to clean up the mess that was left behind. … You know this happened as I was coming into office and my predecessor decided to increase the salaries and hire more people and try to use up the budget that was there for me, and so that’s really unfortunate. You know that shouldn’t happen.”

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