Head of Filner recall calls on Roberts to resign

Thor's Assistant Rostra Administrator (Thor's Assistant) 62 Comments


The head of the 2013 effort to recall San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is calling on County Supervisor Dave Roberts to resign from office, in the wake of several allegations of impropriety against him by former staff members.

Michael Pallamary, who started the effort to remove Filner from office prior to the then-Mayor ultimately resigning in August 2013, today sent the following letter to Supervisor Roberts:

Michael J. Pallamary,
Former Chairman
Recall Filner Committee

May 15, 2015

Supervisor Dave Roberts
County  Board  of  Supervisors
1600  Pacific  Highway
San Diego, CA 92101

Dear  Supervisor  Roberts,

On behalf  of  the  citizens of  San  Diego  County,  I  would  respectfully  ask that  you  tender your  resignation  from  office no  later  than 5:00 PM,  Friday,  May  22,  2015.  Accusations of the  sort  leveled  against  you,  regardless of  the  motivation  or  merit,  do  irreparable  harm  to the  office  that  you  occupy.    In  addition,  a  controversy  such  as  this  will  escalate  and end up  costing  taxpayers  thousands of  dollars  while  concurrently  interrupting  the  important flow  of  public  business.    To be  sure,  this  imbroglio  will  become  a  major  distraction  that will  render  your  voice  ineffective and  for  that,  your  constituents  will  suffer.

I  would  urge  you  to  focus  your  time,  attention  and resources  to  defending  the accusations  made  against  you,  in private  and  out  of  the  public  limelight.  To do otherwise,  will  prove selfish  and  of  no  benefit  to  the  hard  working  people  who  elected you.    Please  spare  the  community  the  costs  and  drama  that  is sure  to follow.


Michael  Pallamary

It goes without saying the letter may portend future action on the part of Pallamary, depending on Roberts’ response or lack thereof.


Comments 62

  1. Okay, that’s a little crazy. Resigning to defend accusations makes every elected official a target for politically motivated smears.

    Remember, DeMaio was accused, tried, and convicted in the media for something he didn’t do.

    If the accusations are true, Roberts will be gone in a month. If not, Republicans can beat him at the ballot box

  2. Brian,

    I agree with you.

    Filner’s situation was far different. There was overwhelming evidence of criminal conduct (he later pled guilty); the evidence showed sexual harassment and the city, as employer, had a legal obligation to stop it; yet, there was no mechanism in the law (including the city charter) to enable the city to stop him and protect employees. So, we had to improvise a legal way to negotiate his resignation before he did more damage.

    None of this is present with Roberts. We don’t even know the specifics of what he is accused of doing.

    Jan Goldsmith

  3. If anyone gets the differences, at least based on what we know presently, it’s Jan Goldsmith. BTW, if anyone ever needs good help negotiating their way thru such a situation, I’d highly recommend the bipartisan consulting firm of Faulconer Gloria and Goldsmith.

  4. Folks, here’s the point I would like to make. Take my word, this is going to get bigger and given the broad distribution of corroborating revelations and witnesses, this is going to prove to be a huge distraction for Roberts and the entire Board. Moreover, with each passing day, while Roberts is in office, considerable exposure is going to be created for the taxpayer as these claims are going to mount; they aren’t going away. Presumably these folks have Gloria Allred on speed dial.

    The media is going to create a circus and that is going to hamper Roberts’ effectiveness. As with Filner, these allegations include a number of sexual tinged activities allegedly occurring in the office of an elected official. If you remember, I asked Mr. Filner to resign.

    I am sure the national media will have a field day with San Diego.

    In any event, time will tell what develops. Someone should mark a clock today indication the current cost of a settlement and then check every week to see where it goes and finally, when the storm ends, let’s see who takes the financial hit.

    I appreciate everyone’s thoughts.

  5. I think I will wait for someone with a little more insight to the situation to step forward with CONCRETE evidence to make a final judgment…..too many, shall we say, publicity mongers thus far….waiting for some folks with a higher level of ethics before we really know what we have here.

  6. “Higher level of ethics?” Nice try MaryAnne. Snarky, but nice try.

    The number of Dave Roberts people who quit in disgust over his actions is a smoking gun. Throw in Dave Roberts “allegedly spooning” with the young male ex-barista and “allegedly” creating a hostile work environment for his female staffers over the young male ex-barista is many lawsuits waiting to happen. Carl DeMaio was crucified for allegations just like this.

    Michael Pallamary is right. Frankly it’s only a matter of time before it all comes out. Since Dave Roberts is an ultra-liberal Dem, he’ll eventually do what all the Dems do, apologize, act contrite, and fight like a cornered sewer rat to stay in office. If he had ethics MaryAnne, he’d quit now. He’s a San Diego Dem, so it will never happen.

  7. Harold Schwartz — I am DEEPLY offended by your scurrilous remark. A hooker offers her services for a freely negotiated price, and does not use coercion to make her living — an alien idea to any Democrat office holder.

    Churches should welcome hookers, but be circumspect about passing the collection plate by an incumbent Democrat. Okay, okay — and a few reprobate Republican officeholders as well.

  8. “None of this is present with Roberts. We don’t even know the specifics of what he is accused of doing.”

    It’s coming out Jan and I”m inclined to agree with Michael that more is coming. I think what bears mentioning is that a knee-jerk reaction of “recall because it’s distracting” sets a bad precedent because it makes everybody a target.

    Supervisor Roberts’ non-denial denial, claiming “inaccuracies” troubled me. If he didn’t do it, he should say it and refute the claim entirely.

    I think this is going to drag on for months with a Clintonesque legal drama of what “is” is. Roberts won’t be a Supe in 2017 but it won’t be from a recall or resignation.

  9. I did not indicate I thought a recall was the proper remedy. What I believe would be in the best interest of everyone is for Roberts to resign. There is a big difference. This story has enough titillating undertones that it is akin to Thanksgiving dinner for the media. Eventually, as more lurid stories come out, that will lead to more media interest and eventually San Diego will end up as another late night joke on national TV, just after we’ve restored the city’s integrity. I believe Roberts should resign so he can focus his attention on his personal life. Moreover, if the Board has already declined to authorize settlement payments, what happens next? For what it is worth, ever since I recalled Linda Bernhardt in 1991, I have been approached many times about recalling various politicians. Most of them didn’t make any sense. My approach is pragmatic and, as I mentioned above, let’s start the taxpayer meter and set some benchmark dates and dollars so we can see what this is going to cost.

  10. “I believe Roberts should resign so he can focus his attention on his personal life”

    He doesn’t have a problem in his personal life; he has office employee problems at this point. There is a distinction which makes this important:

    Three of Brian’s employees resigned because they say he beats his wife. Brian says he doesn’t beat his wife. You want Brian to resign because he may have a wife-beating problem

  11. MaryAnne, so that I can appreciate the gravitas of your comment, can you explain what you mean when you say “folks with a higher level of ethics?” What does that mean and how many levels of ethics are there? And, who serves as the arbiter of ethics if not one’s own conscience?

  12. Not defending the Supervisor if his alleged actions are true, but does anyone here think the District Attorney would be conducting an investigation if we were talking about a Republican Supervisor?

  13. The test of character is defined by the individual and not those who watch him/her. What is more important?

  14. Hypocrisy, Interesting how the Democrats ALWAYS aggressively protect the “alleged” perversions and bad actions of elected Democrats. Padilla, Filner, Roberts, Inzunza, the San Diego list goes on. Since no San Diego Democrats have come to the defense of the women that Dave Roberts has “allegedly” wink-wink, harassed, I take it to mean that Democrats don’t support women? It took a long time for the San Diego Democrats to admit that Filner was “allegedly” a predator. This time, do the right thing and call for Dave Roberts to resign.

  15. Brian,

    The D.A. certainly didn’t investigate Supervisor Horn under somewhat similar circumstances and as for DeMaio, if memory serves me correctly, she spent more time investigating his accuser.


    I don’t know of any Democrats who are defending Roberts’ actions and as for the Filner debacle, it was three Democrats who brought him down.

  16. It doesn’t have to be about Party affiliation. Can’t we all just agree to dislike Dave Roberts for our own individual reasons?

  17. As I predicted, the longer Supervisor Roberts remains in office – in the public eye and tethered to the taxpayer – he will remain an appealing target for every contingency lawyer in Southern California. We will see more claims come forward. These debacles generally follow the same sequence of events. In the end, we, the public are going to be on the hook and irrespective of the merits or demerits of the allegations, these claims are going to increase and they are going to get larger. In toto, they will render Roberts, his staff, and his office ineffective. He is already cancelling engagements and, every day he avoids a public appearance, his actions only exacerbate the problem; he will become, if he is not already, a target for the media to stalk.

    And what of his family? At what point will these publicized allegations affect his children? How long can they endure the inevitable taunts of their classmates and diminishing field of friends? Is this fair to them?

    Clearly there will be more sordid stories coming out and I can assure you, these will not be neglected by the media. If Roberts were to remove himself from the public spotlight, he may be able to mitigate this damage and the taxpayers can be spared this prolonged abuse.

    This situation is identical to what happened with Filner, he, a man void of class and character. Unlike Filner though, Roberts has young children who, I submit, he owes the highest duty to, As I have posited, does he not owe the taxpayer something?

  18. HQ– I have no idea how the DAs office allocates it’s time for investigations. I DO know that they investigated DeMaio for a crime he didn’t commit. Maybe that will be the outcome for Roberts.

    Michael P.,

    I agree with City Attorney Goldsmith that this is much different from Filner. Dave Roberts’ kids are Dave’s business so he can choose what and how much exposure they get to this case. I stay away from other people’s parenting decisions.

    If more is going to come out on Roberts, let it happen. It will torpedo the chance for a Democrat to be elected in 2016.

  19. Post
  20. Hi Brian, I am a father and grandfather and I believe one must take such things in consideration. That is what parenting is all about. What do you value the most. I have already been contacted by folks who know Roberts’ kids and what I am hearing is not very pretty.

    Although the accusations against Roberts are not the same as with Filner, the issue is one of character and in this regard, from my perspective, they are identical. When I initially posted, I predicted this would get worse and more expensive. It is and it will continue.

    I agree with you about the democrats. They are the ones who need to be applying pressure on Roberts. Filner was the first democratic mayor to be elected in a while and look what happened. Roberts was the first democrat to be elected to the BOS in a real long time and look what happened. One can only assume this is the best the democrats have to offer. The voters will let us know. BTW, I enjoy the dialogue with you!


    a : impairment of integrity, virtue, or moral principle : depravity
    b : decay, decomposition
    c : inducement to wrong by improper or unlawful means (as bribery)
    d : a departure from the original or from what is pure or correct

  22. “Resign regardless of motivation or merit”???? That is absolute idiocy (trying to be kind here). To do so puts each and every elected official in the county at the mercy of any crackpot who comes along, with what ever grievance they may have. Exactly what would be the motivation for anyone to run for elected office in this county if they could be asked to resign regardless of the “motivation or merit” of accusations leveled by somebody with an axe to bear. Please….get real. It’s hard enough to motivate men and women of talent to take the personal risk of running for office. Accusations and unkind words are leveled each and every day against every elected official in the county.

  23. Hi Paul,

    Thank you for your comments. I agree with your fundamental premise. I obviously have a different perspective. We should check in with each other in two more weeks. At some time my comments might make sense to you. Out of curiosity, what is your opinion about the Bill Cosby situation?

  24. Michael,

    Is it more important to ensure that all of the guilty are convicted or that none of the innocent are?

  25. I have exercised considerable discretion with regards to my comments and observations. As I have experienced before, a lot of people have shared their observations and other information with me. For this and other reasons, it is my personal opinion that the majority, if not all of the allegations against Mr. Roberts are valid. I do not believe him to be an innocent party. I believe he is guilty of the charges leveled against him and I also believe more damning evidence is going to come forward. I can assure you that if I believed he was innocent, I would be the first person to rise to his defense. It is for this reason I have asked for his resignation. I believe I am a reasonable judge of truth and character. Time, of course, will tell if I am right or wrong. Please continue with this dialogue as it is healthy as long as it is civil and I applaud you for that.

  26. Michael.

    I think we’re saying “you don’t call for a resignation based on allegations”. I think you’re saying, “I actually KNOW this to be true”.

    Am I missing something here?

  27. What I am saying is I believe it to be true. It is a minor difference I suppose. I believe the allegations. One thing I know, if these type of charges had been leveled against me and they were not true, I would have held a press conference in three minutes and I would not hire a spokesperson to represent me. People act a certain way for a reason. I stand by my original statement.

  28. “People act a certain way for a reason.”

    I don’t disagree with your analysis and belief. Roberts’ tepid response makes me uneasy.

    “I stand by my original statement”

    I stand by my original statement as well. I’m uncomfortable calling for resignations based upon feelings. Dave Roberts should be afforded the right of due process. If he didn’t do it, we’ll find out pretty quickly. If he did, and won’t resign, he’ll destroy the Democratic Party (at least in D3) for years

  29. Brian,

    I don’t think Roberts will “destroy the Democratic Party” any more than Roger Hedgecock, Valerie Stallings or Duke Cunningham destroyed the Republican Party.

  30. As a Democrat, it would have been difficult for Valerie Stallings to destroy the Republican Party, but there were a few moments when some peeps thought she destroyed Petco Park.

  31. Barry,

    Good catch. There weren’t as many Democrats on the Council back then, but Stallings certainly was one. I guess I could have used Bill Horn as another example, but that seemed too easy.

  32. You guys are killing me! He is only going to destroy himself. We need to press the Democrats – publicly – to see who supports Roberts. That would be enlightening and productive if we can get the media to press that issue. It is interesting to note that no one has come out to support him. Other than a hack PR man – on the payroll – we don’t see protests and rallies in the support of Roberts. A man is often measured by those around him. I think the reason we are not seeing people rally behind Roberts is because he is guilty; people want to distance themselves from him. As I stated elsewhere, I estimate this is costing us $10-$15K in lost productivity on a daily basis. How much is getting done in the supervisor’s office? At a minimum, lawsuits like this do not go away, nominally there is some kind of payment, confidential or otherwise.

  33. Michael,

    You may be right, but you are still wrong. This country was never based on the premise that you should automatically lose your job anytime someone accuses you of wrongdoing.

  34. Hypocrisy: Since Democrats make a huge deal over how they support women, you should immediately demand that Dave Roberts resign for his hostility towards the women on his staff. Was Dave Roberts too busy … with … Harold Meza that he didn’t know that what he was doing was creating a hostile work environment towards women? Don’t think so. If this was Carl DeMaio, you would have tarred and feathered him weeks ago. There were FOUR women that resigned, FOUR! This is not a conspiracy, this is a SMOKING GUN and Dave Roberts needs to be pushed hard to resign. Show that your Dem support for women is not a lie and demand that Dave Roberts resign. Michael, if you put together a campaign to drive Dave Roberts from office, I would be more than happy to work side by side with you to help get rid of this woman hater. Let me know.

    From Admin: Where the …’s appear, we edited out some language, which we believed to be salacious and unnecessary. Our readers are pretty smart here. Commenters would do well to ask themselves, “Is my point more credible if I restrain myself from having to go there?”

  35. HQ: I agree with you fundamentally. What is your position on Bill Cosby and his accusers?

  36. By the way “hypocrisy,” if you notice my request it is for him to resign. That is a decision he has to make and it calls in important questions of character. I am asking him to draw from his own character and do what is right. There is a big difference and I not certain that is clear. It is about quality of character. The decision lies with him and no one else.

  37. I have not followed or studied the Bill Cosby controversy and don’t have an opinion.

  38. Post
  39. I stand corrected. My comments were outrage over the treatment of these four women for pointing out the extremely questionable use of taxpayer money by Dave Roberts on Harold Meza.

  40. Michael,

    My position on Bill Cosby is the same as is my position on Dennis Hastert as was my position on Carl DeMaio. Even if I personally believe Roberts and some or all of the above are guilty of what others are claiming, that is not enough in the United States of America to force someone to resign from their job.

  41. Thanks, but would you consider forming an opinion about the Cosby claims just for the fun of it?

    Who do you believe? Bill Cosby or the women?

  42. Post

    As other comments may be posted while you are writing yours, it is always helpful to be clear whom it is you are addressing. Our best guess is that Michael was posing his last question to Dan, but HQ’s comment went up in the meantime.

  43. Post
  44. HQ, define “force.” No one is using FORCE to make Roberts resign. But there’s nothing wrong with asking, even DEMANDING (without force) that he resign.

    You seem to have trouble understanding the difference between FORCING someone to resign — using, ya know, FORCE — and EXHORTING someone to resign.

    What you are REALLY saying is that no one should call for his resignation, that it’s somehow unAmerican to do so. Guess what? Calling for someone’s resignation is firmly protected (for now) by the First Amendment. It’s PART of America!

    Even your embarrassing attempt to stifle such free speech is ALSO protected by the Constitution — at least until you folks get enough progressives appointed to the Supreme Court to invalidate the First Amendment, that is. Using FORCE to crush free speech, I might add.

  45. I have to agree with Mr. Pallamary. Holding public office is a privilege, not a right. That privilege exists only so long as the service of the individual is in the public interest. Of course Roberts has the right to defend himself against the charges, but the citizens should not have to pay the price. He can present his defense as a private citizen, not as a County Supervisor. If the charges were trivial or absurd or no evidence was offered to support them, that is a different matter but that is not the situation here. If he remains in office the citizens of Mr. Robert’s district will be without effective representation for quite a while. That fact alone would be a good reason for him to resign, but I will not hold my breath!

  46. Post

    One of the first things posted here was by Greg Larkin…

    “…aside from the legal process, there’s also the point at which a scandal reaches the tipping point of no going back. 

    “There’s also the point when a public official becomes such a distraction that his or her constituents can no longer be represented fairly.

    “The point when the government agency itself becomes embarrassed.

    “That’s the time for the other elected officials to have some resolve.

    “That time may be quickly approaching.”

  47. Michael,

    We agree that it is Roberts’ decision whether or not to resign. I also agree that if he is guilty of what is being alleged, he should resign. My concern is simply that elected officials not be forced (coerced, exhorted or demanded) to resign every time an accusation is made though you certainly have the right to encourage him to do so.


    As usual, your idiotic personal attacks and attempts to define my ideas are unworthy of any response.

  48. I always have a bit of a problem with the aliases so forgive me as I do not know who is who here. In any event, I wholeheartedly agree with the coercion thing. Remember I went through this in 1991 when I removed Linda Bernhardt from office and essentially removed Bob Filner from office. I do not take these matters lightly. I have an sixth sense I suppose.

    regardless, I happen to admire character for to display it is an act of bravery. To reiterate, Roberts needs to resign and deal with his issues in private. This whole imbroglio is embarrassing and with each passing day, it gets worse. I see Shepard just dumped him. What’s coming next? More late night jokes on national TV? (Filner Redux)

  49. Yes. That is what I did with Filner. We need to press the party and it would be nice if the media were to do that. Observation: I sense Roberts may not have endeared himself to other Democrats and this alienation may have consequences. Again, I am struck by the absence of supporters for him. Other than his hack PR guy, has anyone stood up for him? If the Democrats are smart, they would be looking at another candidate.

  50. From all I have read, Roberts does not like women. The thing to do is to get a liberal women’s rights group to ask him to resign. We can see where their allegiance lies and who’s rights need to be protected.

  51. They could approach the Clinton Foundation…. Bill Clinton still wields considerable influence within the Democratic Party…and his wife is such a exemplary figure for feminism and the plight of women harassed and intimidated by powerful, reckless and lecherous men…

  52. Funny one! I did send Bill a letter, C/O the foundation asking that he speak to Filner about stepping down!

  53. Now if we can only get Roberts to hold a fundraiser for Hillary………..

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