Bob Filner's Paris finances show last-minute airfare, unattended conferences cost thousands

Credit card statements show money wasted

SAN DIEGO - San Diego Mayor Bob Filner's junket to Paris resulted in thousands of wasted dollars, according to internal city of San Diego emails and credit card statements.

The statements show thousands of dollars spent on last-minute airfare and unattended conferences.

On Thursday, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said the way the mayor spends public money could ultimately end his administration.

"I'm particularly concerned about the Paris trip," Goldsmith said.

On June 21, Filner left San Diego for a rally in Paris for the National Council of Resistance of Iran. Filner has said the trip was a business trip for the benefit of the citizens of San Diego.

Internal city emails show to pay for the trip, a city staffer had to increase her city credit card limit to $30,000. The email said this is necessary to pay for "airfare for the mayor and his staff," and it indicated it was for a total of four people.

Filner has announced he will pay the $9,839 it cost to send him to Paris. His trip was paid for by Organization of Iranian-American Communities, a group Filner claimed was a nonprofit organization. The IRS told Team 10 it had no record of the group's nonprofit status.

To avoid violating state gift laws Filner announced he would pay for his own trip. There is still no information about who paid for his former fiancé to accompany him to France.

City taxpayers paid nearly $22,000 to send the mayor's security detail with him, Team 10 learned.

Goldsmith has been investigating the mayor's credit card use, including what was spent on his Paris junket.

Goldsmith revealed this week the mayor's spending of public money on personal items violates the city charter and could cost him his office.

"The more we investigate the Paris trip the less we see any link to city business," Goldsmith said.

Credit card transactions show two members of the mayor's security detail charged $8,231.10 each for round-trip tickets from San Diego to Paris.

Team 10 found coach tickets for the same trip cost $1,300 if they are bought a week in advance. According to credit card statements, the flights were paid for four days before they left.

Sources say the mayor's security bought business class tickets even though city policy doesn't allow city travel in any class but coach.

Team 10 had previously learned the mayor's security detail did not travel with him to Paris and arrived a day later to offer protection.

"They did miss the flight," San Diego Police Department Chief William Lansdowne said when asked about the trip.

The mayor's credit card statements also show a $700 conference registration charge for the U.S Conference of Mayors.

According to the conference website, the mayor did not attend the conference, which started on June 21.  

June 21 is the same day Filner left for Paris.

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