Mayor Bob Filner's office releases the cost of his trip to Paris, France

Team 10 asked about the figures nearly a month ago

SAN DIEGO - According to information recently released by the mayor’s Office, the Paris trip Mayor Bob Filner took last month cost more than $31,000 -- two thirds of which was paid for by the City of San Diego.

The mayor’s office said Filner was invited to speak at the Organization of Iranian-American Communities 2013 Annual Conference for Democracy.

In addition, the mayor also traveled to the City of Lille, France where he toured and was briefed on their internationally recognized energy and sustainability programs, which he says he would like to use as a model for San Diego.

“Building and maintaining these international relationships will support several of the Mayor’s most important priorities for San Diego, including increasing cargo imports that lead to good-paying maritime jobs and his vision for an innovative energy and sustainability program, ” the mayor’s office said in a press release.

According to the mayor’s office the trip totaled $31,363, two thirds of which was paid for by taxpayers.

Team 10 has requested actual receipts, but so far only this information from the mayor's office had been provided.

Mayor’s Expenses (Paid by OAIC)

Airfare

$8,304

Lodging

$971

Meals

$564

Security Detail’s Expenses (Paid by City of San Diego)

Airfare

$16,462

Lodging

$3,183

Meals

$1,599

Team 10 filed a public records request to see receipts from the mayor's office and from the police department. The police department said it will not release receipts, citing security concerns. Team 10 is still waiting to see the mayor's receipts.

Also, the mayor's news release stated the OAIC was a 501(c)(3). Team 10 had not been able to verify that by mid-Friday morning.

Sources said two city police officers working as the mayor’s security details missed the mayor's flight from San Diego to Paris.  The officers were not with the mayor for the entire trip.

San Diego police Chief William Lansdowne confirmed the mayor's security detail did not fly with the mayor to France, because they missed the flight.

The chief said the security detail did protect the mayor once they arrived in Paris on a later flight.  He said the mayor was unprotected "for hours."

"They did miss the flight," Lansdowne said. "You just can't depend on flights anymore in this business."

This contradicts what Mayor Filner previously said when questioned about his security detail's role during the Paris trip.

Asked by Team 10 if his security detail was with him the entire time on that trip, Filner answered, "Yeah," and then was cut off by his chief of staff, Vince Hall.

"We're not going to have any more questions about security," Hall said. "They go straight to the chief of police."

San Diego police refused to release specific details about the trip including documents that would show the mayor's itinerary and the flight schedule for the security detail saying it would compromise security.

"If I could have got on the plane we would have," Lansdowne said. "We couldn't do that, but we did provide the security once we got to France."

In the earlier interview with Mayor Filner last month, he said this trip to France was the only time he has gone with a security detail.

He has traveled to France on similar trips as a congressman, with no security.

"I couldn't do anything about," Filner said of the previous trips with no security. "I took the risk."

Filner was in Paris attending a rally for the National Council of Resistance of Iran -- a pro-democracy Iranian resistance group he supported while in Congress.

The mayor also denied the trip cost the city any money.

"There is no cost to the city for my going there," he said.

Team 10 also is investigating the group that has previously paid for Filner's trips to France.

A group called the Colorado Iranian-American Community paid for two of the trips when Filner was in Congress.

According to federal disclosures, in 2007, the trip cost $7,949. In 2011, the trip cost $6,589.

As mayor, Filner cannot accept more than $440 dollars in gifts in a year without violating state and municipal gift laws, unless the group is a non-profit organization.

The mayor said a non-profit organization paid for his most recent trip, but he has not yet named the group.

"I'd give you a name but it might be a word or two off so I want to wait until I see it in writing," Filner said when asked who paid for his trip.

The Colorado Iranian-American Community does not have non-profit status, according to the IRS.

Team 10 found it has non-profit status in Colorado. But, according to Colorado's Secretary of State, the group is "delinquent" in providing updated information about its mission, funding and leadership.

Filner said the Paris trip served San Diego because he was trying to bring jobs to the city.

"My trip to France, in summary, was a business trip," he said.

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