Political expert: Filner may be saving resignation as 'bargaining chip'

SAN DIEGO - Bob Filner's refusal to step down as mayor of San Diego may be as much about strategy as it is about ego, according to a political consultant.

10News asked political science professor Carl Luna why Filner refuses to resign even though almost every mover-and-shaker in San Diego has called on him to do so. Even his own Democratic Party has asked him to step down.

"The mayor's got a number of reasons to not step down," explained Luna. "Legally, he wants as much protection from the city as he can get and have bargaining chips to try and minimize his own exposure. Politically, if he steps down, where does he go? It's over for him."

Luna discounted reports that Filner may be hanging on to his job in order to increase his already sizeable pension. It's estimated his combined pension from serving in the federal, state and city government is in excess of $100,000 per year, and every day he spends as mayor increases that amount.

"The city pension is probably not the single biggest concern he has because of the numbers involved. The money's not that much; this is more ego. This is his place and legacy in history. Does he want to be known as a mayor who resigned or a mayor who triumphed through the charges?" said Luna.

Luna said nothing short of a deal will make Filner, who is known for digging in his heels, resign.

Starting August 7, Filner is scheduled to begin two weeks of intensive therapy to curb his boorish behavior toward women.

"For the mayor, there's only upside for being away for two weeks. He's away from the media. He's away from the limelight and he can hope that maybe something can knock this off the front pages of the news cycle when he gets back," said Luna.

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