Former assemblywoman Lori Saldana: San Diego Democrats previously warned about Bob Filner

Past party leaders aware of allegations by women

SAN DIEGO - Former state assemblywoman Lori Saldana told Team 10 she warned San Diego Democrats about Mayor Bob Filner's treatment of women.

On Friday, she said she took her concerns directly to the party's chairman.

"I went to the leader, the elected leader of the county party," Saldana said. "I expressed to him my concerns. Did he take strong enough action to make sure things would improve Apparently not."

Saldana spent six years in the California Assembly until term limits prevented her from running again in 2010. She lost a 2010 congressional bid.

"I felt that given Bob wanted to leave Congress and run for local office, the local county party chairman was in an effective position to have that conversation with Bob," she said.

Saldana said she talked to former San Diego County Democratic Party Chairman Jess Durfee.

"I advised Jess Durfee that he meet with Bob Filner and get a handle on this situation before it got out of control," she said.

Saldana said she told Durfee about behavior that crossed a personal boundary, not a legal one.

Derfee wouldn't talk about Saldana's statements.

"We've all heard stories about Bob Filner, that's nothing surprising and nothing new," current Democratic Party Chairwoman Francine Busby said. "Jess Durfee did follow up. He asked Lori to have the women contact him personally so he could follow up and none of the women did."

"Several weeks later, he told me he had met with Bob Filner and Bob had assured him there was not a problem, that no one had ever filed any claims of allegations against him and everything would be fine," Saldana said of Durfee's reaction.

Team 10 asked Busby if she thought Filner was still able to perform his job as mayor.

"Yes I do," she said.

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