Filner Escapes Jail as Court Accepts Plea Deal
SAN DIEGO (CN) - Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner escaped jail time but will spend 90 days detained in his home after a state court judge on Monday agreed to accept his plea agreement on false imprisonment and battery charges.
In October, Filner, 71, pleaded guilty to felony charge of grabbing one woman in a headlock. Prosecutors in misdemeanor battery charges accused Filner of kissing one victim and grabbing another woman by the buttocks.
Judge Robert Trentacosta of the San Diego Superior Court ordered Filner to wear a GPS monitor and spend 90 days under house arrest starting Jan 1, 2014. The judge also cut the Democrat's pension and ordered him to pay a $1,500 fine.
Filner cannot run for political office during his three years of probation. He could yet pay restitution to his three Jane Doe victims, if they pursue damages, Judge Trentacosta said.
Reacting to his sentence, Filner apologized to "the women I have hurt and offended" and vowed that his mistreatment of women "will never be repeated."
"I look forward to making further contributions to the city I love," Filner said.
Filner made national headlines in July, after a city councilwoman accused him of sexually harassing her and city hall staff. Filner at first admitted he needed help while resisting calls to step down as mayor.
Several other woman came forward after attorney Gloria Allred filed suit on behalf of Irene McCormack Jackson, the mayor's former communications director.
The aide claimed Filner asked her to work without panties, grabbed her in a headlock and whispered sexual comments in her ear.
Filner officially resigned as Mayor on August 30.
At the court this morning, Allred said Filner had got off lightly.
"Though some may feel that Filner has paid the price for his betrayal of the public trust, I think that he is one lucky man," Allred said in a statement.
She wondered why Filner a "serial predator who has misused his office to harass women" should be allowed to keep his pension. The politician was lucky to avoid jail time and lifetime registration as a sex offender, she added.
"Mr. Filner, count your blessings - your freedom is a gift which you do not deserve," Allred said.