Bob Filner

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner enters council chambers Aug. 23 to announce his resignation in the face of sexual-harassment accusations. (Don Bartletti, Los Angeles Times / November 3, 2013)

There was no coffee.

Filner clashed with Goldsmith over the city's marijuana ordinance, a misdemeanor charge brought by Goldsmith's office against a beach demonstrator in La Jolla and a charge against a protester for chalking anti-bank messages on city sidewalks.

The mayor crashed one of Goldsmith's news conferences. Later he had a police officer escort one of Goldsmith's top aides out of a closed meeting.

After Allred sued on behalf of Irene McCormack Jackson, Filner's former communications director, Goldsmith's investigators examined Filner's finances and concluded that he could not afford lawyers to fight the lawsuit.

One fact seemed telling: Filner had waited months to reimburse the city for $900 in personal expenses on a city credit card.

A decision was made to squeeze Filner, giving him the choice to resign or wage an expensive legal fight.

"We didn't think he had the willingness or [financial] ability to deal with the legal issue," Goldsmith said.

Goldsmith persuaded the City Council to refuse to defend Filner in the Jackson lawsuit and instead force him to hire private attorneys.

"It was a bluff," said Goldsmith, noting that California law requires a public employer to represent an employee, even a mayor, accused of on-the-job misdeeds.

Goldsmith's investigators gathered numerous declarations from women who alleged that they had been sexually harassed by the mayor. The mayor's office was forced to disclose notes taken at staff meetings that showed growing anger at Filner's abusive treatment.

As Filner hid from the media, Goldsmith said in numerous interviews that it was only a matter of time until Filner would be out. By mid-August, all nine City Council members — five Democrats and four Republicans — wanted Filner to resign.

A retired federal judge was persuaded to oversee negotiations between Filner, his attorneys, Goldsmith and his staff, and Councilman Kevin Faulconer and Council President Todd Gloria.

After two days of intense negotiations, one of the last items to be resolved involved money.

Under the agreement, the city would pay up to $98,000 for Filner's private attorneys defending him in the Jackson lawsuit. Those attorneys billed about $28,000 above that amount and would work out the difference with Filner.

The city is not paying any of Filner's legal costs related to the state attorney general's investigation that led to his guilty plea or to any other civil suits that might arise.

Filner signed the agreement Aug. 21, and it was approved by the council two days later. After a farewell speech that was alternately sorrowful and defiant, Filner's resignation was effective Aug. 30.

On Oct. 15, Filner pleaded guilty to felony false imprisonment and two counts of misdemeanor battery, all involving mistreatment of women during his months as mayor.

Under the plea bargain with the attorney general, Filner will not go to jail or prison but will serve three months of home confinement, agree to never again seek public office, have his mayoral pension reduced and undergo mental health counseling.

For the psychological analysis of Filner that was never used, the city paid $4,550 — calculated at 13 hours of consultation at $350 an hour, according to documents obtained by The Times under the California Public Records Act.

Solana Beach psychologist Sage de Beixedon Breslin never interviewed Filner but studied his many public statements and demeanor on Google and YouTube.

An expert witness in numerous cases involving restraining orders and accusations of sexual harassment, Breslin said in an interview that she was "cautiously optimistic that watching someone toppled from power because of these kind of crimes might have a good impact, might instill just a little fear in people like this."

Goldsmith has proposed a charter amendment to allow for a mayoral impeachment process.

Looking back on his long dispute with Filner, he said his years as a judge helped him maintain his composure.

"It was like having the litigant from hell in your courtroom for eight months," he said.

tony.perry@latimes.com