“Fick” is a term of art on Ethics Alarms, describing the rare unethical miscreant who is not only engaged in misconduct but perfectly happy to profit from it in full view of the public eye, apparently without shame. The appellation is named after the despicable Leroy Fick, a Michigan lottery winning millionaire who exploited a loophole to keep getting public assistance. Ficks are the worst of the worst.
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is a fick.
As the number of women who have accused him of groping, head-locking, kissing or otherwise sexually harassing them climbed beyond 18, Filner adamantly refused to do the right thing and resign (call me crazy, but I think even Bill Clinton would have had the decency to resign if a new Monica surfaced every other day for a month), even as other allegations of his misdeeds in the financial realm were being investigated. Knowing the recall effort rapidly gathering steam would cost the city many thousands of dollars, and understanding that San Diego was being humiliated as well as being barely governed while Mayor Fick, er, Filner, held it hostage, the city council has negotiated an exit by Filner, one that requires the city to pick up his legal tab, as well as the damages or settlements he would otherwise pay in any law suits against him arising out of his various incidents of harassment.
He gave them no choice, really. Filner extorted the city, insisting that it pay what may end up being hundreds of thousands of dollars for his sick and illegal conduct, or he would continue to drag out the matter, forcing the city into funding a full recall while it continued to be humiliated on the national stage…all while his misconduct interfered with addressing the needs of the city. Professionally and ethically obligated to resign long ago, the mayor did the wrong, cowardly and selfish thing by refusing to accept the consequences of his actions, harming the city in the process, and then had the gall to allow his lawyers to use the threat of continuing harming the city to take taxpayer money that should have been spent on San Diego’s problems other than the fact that they elected a fick for a mayor.
And this, as an aside: Bob Filner was in Congress for ten years. He didn’t develop his pattern of groping women when he became mayor—sexual harassers aren’t like that. I want to know how the Democrats allow a power-abusing, woman-assaulting creep like Filner to run for mayor of a major U.s. city when there were undoubtedly many of his staff and colleagues who knew about his proclivities. One of the many scandals that lost Congress for the GOP in 2006 was the one involving Rep. Mark Foley, who was making in appropriate sexual overtures to male pages for years, all with the likely knowledge of the GOP leadership, which did nothing to stop him. I don’t see how the Democratic leadership’s handling of Filner’s conduct was any more responsible or any less wrong, except that the Democratic Party is the “party of women,” so it gets a pass on this kind of thing. The San Diego city council should ask the Democratic party to pay Filner’s legal bills. It’s the least it can do to make amends for its hypocrisy.
Facts: LA Times