SAN DIEGO —
As he won elections, Filner, 70, also won admiration from voters for his work ethic and tenaciousness. He also had a reputation for demeaning employees and lashing out at perceived adversaries.
He was a fastidious boss who paid unusual attention to individual constituent complaints, said Thaddeus Hoffmeister, his legislative director from 2004 to 2007. Getting yelled at was a “rite of passage.”
Filner’s rough edges alienated many, including Councilwoman Lori Zapf, who said the mayor frequently yelled and slammed his gavel during closed-door City Council meetings.
Filner’s world began to unravel at a June 20 staff meeting when his deputy chief of staff, Allen Jones, and his communications director, Irene McCormack Jackson, confronted him over his behavior and quit.
Two supporters, Councilwoman Donna Frye and environmental attorney Marco Gonzalez, met privately with Filner days later and were unconvinced he would change. They joined Briggs at a news conference on July 11 to demand a resignation.
McCormack Jackson was the first of nearly 20 women to go public and is still the only one to sue. On Thursday, City Council President Todd Gloria named her to be his communications director when he becomes interim mayor. A special election to replace Filner has been set for Nov. 19.