Disgraced San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is prepared to resign over issues related to a sexual harassment lawsuit -- and it only took a mere 18 alleged victims and evidence of allegedly misused city funds to get to this point.
One of Filner's former aides filed the suit last month, and many more alleged victims have since stepped forward. Filner wanted the city to help pay for his legal defense, and had refused to step down before entering closed-door mediation talks with city officials, San Diego's KGTV reports.
Here's what his mediation was all about:
Mediation: An Alternative to Court
When parties are unable to resolve a dispute, one option is to turn to alternative dispute resolution (ADR). A popular form of ADR is mediation, which is generally a short-term, structured, task-oriented, and "hands-on" process (but not that kind of "hands on," Bob).
At a mediation session, a neutral third party -- in this case, a retired federal judge -- helps the parties resolve their disputes.
Unlike litigation, mediation doesn't focus on finding fault. The goal is less about addressing what was right or wrong about Filner's actions, and more about what to do in light of his actions.
With the goal of problem-solving in mind, Filner's mediation aimed to resolve the possibility of Filner's resignation in exchange for the City Council agreeing to pay some of his legal fees and potential damages from a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him by his former director of communications, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Once a resolution is reached in mediation, agreements are drawn up. They can be oral or written, and are typically considered binding contracts.
Here, it seems the agreement will call for Filner's resignation, sources tell KGTV. Irene McCormack, who filed the lawsuit against Filner, is slated to accept a six-figure settlement as part of the mediation agreement, according to KGTV.
Many mediation agreements are kept confidential. In Filner's case, the details will remain confidential until they're shared with the City Council at a private meeting set for Friday, reports CNN. If council members approve the deal, Filner is set to step down, KGTV reports.
Now that the mediation has come to a close, the future of the mediation agreement -- and likely Mayor Bob Filner's term -- is now in the hands of the City Council.
- Bob Filner reaches tentative deal in harassment suit (CBS News)
- Arbitration and Mediation (FindLaw)
- San Diego Mayor Sued for Sexual Harassment (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- Waffle House CEO Sued for Sexual Harassment (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)