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Measure E: Removing City Officials

by Jeff Powers, published

San Diego, CALIF.- Measure E is one of those charter amendments that everyone seems to be supporting.  The measure would make it easier to remove and replace elected city officials who’ve committed crimes or other wrongdoing.

It states the mayor, city attorney and City Council members must be removed from their job if they're convicted of a felony, found civilly liable for fraud or declared incapacitated by a court.

The measure would also create a new process to remove elected city officials convicted of certain misdemeanors.

Under those circumstances, three-fourths of the City Council could vote to hold a special removal election. Voters would need to approve the removal of the public official.

Measure E seems like common sense Charter reform. Interestingly though, the city attorney's office says San Diego would become the first city in California with such a Council-initiated special removal election.

The measure would also require city attorney candidates to be licensed to practice law in California for at least 10 years.

Measure E was essentially created in the wake of the Mayor Bob Filner scandal. Filner resigned in late August 2013 amid an onslaught of sexual harassment allegations. Currently, the City Charter only allows for the mayor to be removed through a recall election. Officials negotiated a deal to get him to resign.

Irene McCormack, the first woman to publicly accuse the mayor of sexual harassment, recently wrote an op-ed in the San Diego Union-Tribune. McCormack stated, "By the time I made the decision to “show my face, former Councilwoman Donna Frye and attorneys Marco Gonzalez and Cory Briggs had held two press conferences demanding the mayor resign."

A charter review committee, with help from the city attorney’s office, drafted this measure.

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