Mayor defends security detail on France trip at taxpayers' expense

Filner had no security on trips as congressman

SAN DIEGO - Mayor Bob Filner answered Team 10's questions on Friday about his trip to France last week.  

The mayor admitted the city spent money to send a security detail with him, but he declined to say how much his security detail cost taxpayers.

Team 10 found out the mayor attended an event for the National Council of Resistance of Iran, which is a group he supported as a congressman. His trip last week was paid for by that group.

Sources inside City Hall said the city paid tens of thousands of dollars for the mayor's security detail to travel with him.

Team 10 asked Filner why he needed security when he never needed it as a congressman.

"Use your head," the mayor said. "I'm at a conference that is about the most explosive place in the world run by a regime that assassinates people. You don't think there might be a security concern?"

When pressed that he also went as a congressman in 2007 and 2011 without any security, Filner replied, "I couldn't do anything about it. I took the risk."

The mayor said all security decisions are made by the chief of police, and Filner referred all further questions to the San Diego Police Department.  

When asked about the officers sent to France with the mayor last week, the police department referred all questions back to the mayor's office.

Team 10 has filed a public records request to find out how much it cost taxpayers to send police with Filner to the Iranian event near Paris.

The mayor is also under fire for a so-called "pay to play" scandal involving a San Diego developer.  Read the latest on that story from Team 10 here.


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