The city of San Diego has changed the locks to the mayor's office, but will that be enough to keep out Bob Filner?
The embattled mayor has steadfastly resisted efforts to force him out of office in recent weeks, amid multiple allegations that paint him as a serial perpetrator of sexual harassment. There was even speculation that, after weeks in counseling, he may soon return to work -- even if all nine city council members, California's two U.S. senators and most of San Diego's citizens don't want him to.
Yet for his public posturing, what's happening behind the scenes could change all that.
For the past two days, Filner's camp has been engaged in mediation talks that, in theory, could end in his resignation.
Tuesday's session ended around 5:15 p.m. (8:15 p.m. ET), when those talks' participants filtered out of a downtown high-rise building where they'd been working.
City Attorney Jan Goldsmith didn't provide details about what had been discussed, though he did suggest those discussions are not over.
"Mediation can be a long process," Goldsmith said, citing the mediator's request that they not speak at length. "We are in that process. It is ongoing."
If there is a settlement of the lawsuit brought by the mayor's former communications chief Irene McCormack Jackson that includes Filner agreeing to resign, the city council would have to approve it in closed session, a city hall source said Tuesday.
The public would be given at least 24 hours notice from the city attorney's office about such a city council session, even if it's closed, according to the city hall source.
That would be the normal process for such things
But nothing about the Filner scandal has been normal.
16 women accuse Filner of harassment
The mediation talks come on the heels of Filner's intensive two-week behavioral therapy, which was apparently aimed at ending his alleged backward ways of treating women in the workplace. The mayor began the voluntary program July 29, but his attorney, James Payne, said he was able to complete it August 10, and he was expected to continue with outpatient treatment.
Sixteen women have come forward, saying that Filner acted inappropriately -- with allegations such as one woman's claim he gave her "tush a pat" to another who said he "put me in what I guess now is the famous headlock" and tried "to kiss me on the lips and I'd have to squirm to get away."
It gets even more graphic.
Filner has not responded to multiple CNN requests for comment.
But last month -- after Jackson filed her lawsuit -- he publicly acknowledged having "failed to fully respect the women who work for me and with me," and admitted that he was "embarrassed" by his actions.
"It's a good thing that behavior that would have been tolerated in the past is being called out in this generation for what it is: inappropriate and wrong," he said.
But he said publicly what he did is not wrong enough to give up his job as representative of San Diego's 1.3 million people.
Filner insisted he will be vindicated by "a full presentation of the facts," and has remained resolute that he won't step down.
But he may be on his way out anyway.
While a source with direct knowledge of the closed-door talks declined to say what exactly was under discussion, CNN affiliate KGTV, citing anonymous sources, reported that the mediation was "designed to include a review of a potential resignation."
Though the city chief of staff changed the locks on Filner's office during his time away, it was to preserve evidence rather than to keep him out, the city attorney's office has said.
The office also said it could seek, as a "last resort," a restraining order -- saying Filner creates a hostile environment for women -- to prevent him from returning to work, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Then there is the effort to gather signatures for a recall election, giving voters the options to kick Filner out of office if he won't go voluntarily.