Former San Diego mayor Bob Filner used a secret email account

drbob@sandiego.gov used by Filner inner circle

SAN DIEGO - Former San Diego mayor Bob Filner used an unlisted, private city email address to communicate with his closest advisors and friends, Team 10 has learned.

The email address was drbob@sandiego.gov.

Team 10 learned of the email account through a confidential source and requested copies of all emails sent to and from the account in August 2013, while Filner was still in office.

DOCUMENT: Email correspondence http://bit.ly/1eB6wBv

The city of San Diego provided more than 5,000 emails ranging in dates from January 1, 2013 to August 12, 2013.

More than 4,000 of the emails were forwarded to Filner by his press secretary, Lena Lewis.

The emails originate from a digital media service called Meltwater, which found and organized articles, broadcasts and social media related to Filner and his administration.

Staff at Meltwater told Team 10 the business charges $6,000 a year for this service. It is not clear who paid for it.

Correspondence between Filner and his scheduler on June 21, 2013 show Filner asked her to remove information about his Paris junket.

"Take all references to flights off schedule," Filner wrote. "Did I ever approve putting them on?"

Team 10 first revealed Filner attended a pro democratic Iranian conference in Paris, which cost taxpayers more than $20,000 for his security. Filner was forced to repay the organization that paid more than $9,000 for his trip when Team 10 discovered it exceeded the state gift limit for a California Politician.

DOCUMENT: Sample of media tracking sent to Filner http://bit.ly/LfJPe9

Other emails show Filner asked to delay his mandatory sexual harassment training. They also show he later completed the training.

A January email from Filner's scheduler mentions a lunch with now indicted San Diego lobbyist Marco Polo Cortes. Cortes is accused of funneling more than $300,000 from a Mexican businessman to political groups supporting Filner in the 2012 election. The email to his 'drbob' account stated the two were lunching at the Westgate hotel in January 2013. The email said "no staff."

The emails also show Filner's hard stand with reporters who asked questions he did not want to answer.

"Don't even call back," Filner wrote to his original chief of staff Vince Hall.

The emails also show Filner with a moment of ethical clarity. When his second chief of staff Lee Burdick sent an email regarding his pending recall, he responded in capital letters, "No staff should work on recall stuff at city hall or during normal business hours."

A half dozen current elected officials including San Diego councilman and mayoral candidate Kevin Faulconer, County Assessor Ernie Dronenburg, and Filner's predecessor, mayor Jerry Sanders, only use, or have used, a listed government email address.

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