Inconsistent statements on Mayor Bob Filner's therapy

Deposition delay depended on start date

SAN DIEGO - Mayor Bob Filner avoided a required deposition on August 9, because his attorney said he would be in treatment. But recent statements by Filner's staff contradict the legal statement.

The deposition was to be conducted by San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith.

"If necessary, we will take that up with Judge (Richard) Strauss, who relied upon those statements," Goldsmith said in response to questions about inconsistencies in public statements by Filner's associates.

"Mr. Filner is not available... on August 9 because he will be in a full-time treatment program during the two week period from August 5-16," wrote Filner's attorney, Harvey Berger, in a legal brief.

Judge Richard Strauss excused Filner from the deposition based on the argument and a note from a doctor.  

Filner was scheduled to answer questions under oath about claims he sexually harassed his former communications director.

Team 10 had written confirmation from the mayor's press secretary that he started treatment on August 5, the day Filner publicly declared he would begin his program.

"The mayor started today," wrote Lena Lewis in an email to Team 10, following a question on if the mayor started treatment on that Monday.

Lee Burdick, Filner's chief of staff, would later contradict that email. Burdick said the mayor arrived at a Santa Monica behavioral rehabilitation clinic a week earlier than announced to avoid media attention.

Once Burdick released this information, the mayor's lawyers backpedaled their legal statement with a public news release.

"Mayor Filner will complete his voluntary, two-week intensive treatment program on August 10," the statement read. "Upon completion of the treatment program, Mayor Filner is planning to continue therapy sessions on an outpatient basis."
 
Filner's legal response to the subpoena was authored under the penalty of perjury.

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