SAN DIEGO, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- San Diego Mayor Bob Filner said Friday he would resign at the end of August as part of a deal to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit.
Filner's resignation was a key part of the settlement unanimously approved Friday by the City Council, which met behind closed doors and closed the book on the scandal that created national headlines and ultimately involved nearly 20 alleged victims.
"I apologize to you all," Filner told a crowd of media outside the council chambers.
KGTV-TV in San Diego said Filner repeated his contention that his behavior was boorish, but did not constitute sexual harassment. He also expressed disappointment that his tenure as mayor was ending after less than a year in office.
"We had a chance to do a progressive vision in this city for the first time in 50 years. ... We need you to carry that vision forward. This is not the time to let it die," he said.
Filner signed a letter of resignation prior to the vote and turned it over to retired U.S. District Judge J. Lawrence Irving, a respected San Diego jurist who oversaw mediation talks. The negotiations included representatives of Filner, the city attorney and lawyer Gloria Allred, who represented Filner's former communications director in the lawsuit.
It was not immediately know how much money the city would have to pay plaintiff Irene McCormick. Media reports said Allred was asking for $1.5 million.
The next step in San Diego will be holding a special election for a new mayor. KGTV said two likely candidates were former Democratic State Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher and Republican Scott DeMaio, who lost to Filner in the November election. DeMaio has been in the process of mounting a congressional campaign but indicated he was willing to jump into the mayoral contest if his backers were in favor of it.