San Diego Mayor Bob Filner makes changes to city operations

Old faces in new City Hall posts

SAN DIEGO - Amid all the turmoil surrounding San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, the city itself still has to run.

"I think at a time of some turmoil, I think I can come in and provide some stability," said new Interim Chief Operating Officer Walter Ekard.

Ekard is a familiar face to San Diego. He was the Chief Administrative Officer for the County of San Diego for more than a decade.

"We have 11,000 people who are serving San Diegans who I think need some strong leadership right now," he said.

Political analyst Carl Luna told 10News Filner is looking for "any allies he can get."

"[Chief of Staff] Vince Hall resigned," Luna continued. "He's trying to fill the gap and put together a team who can carry the office forward no matter how distracted he gets."

Filner also hired his old congressional Chief of Staff Tony Buckles to replace Hall.

"Congressional staff have to work in a circle on Capitol Hill, which I do not think is going to work well at City Hall," said Luna.

Filner missed a couple of public appearances this weekend because of the controversy surrounding his office. He skipped the annual Pride Parade and a home preservation workshop even though his name was on the marquee.

"It does look like the mayor's ability to function is already being impacted," said Luna.

Filner did not respond to 10News interview requests. His office released this statement: "Today's announcements make clear the operations of city government will not be negatively impacted."

Ekard agreed, saying, "The distractions are going to take care of themselves. I do have the ability, because I've done this before to really focus people on what the mission is."


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