A few offered sympathy for the council members, given what they and other municipal leaders have dealt with in recent weeks and the decision that lay ahead.

"It is really about the city that we all love," said Laurie Black, a longtime civic leader. "And make your decision with the intentions of loving your city."

Even once Filner leaves office, the city could bear the repercussions of his alleged behavior.

As Goldsmith noted, the city can be held liable for the actions of its employees -- including its past and present mayor.

Filner, himself, is hardly out of the woods. While he now only faces one lawsuit, others could follow.

Plus, there's the chance that the congressman-turned-mayor could be prosecuted by local, state or federal authorities.

Speaking to that point after news of the resignation became official, California Attorney General's office spokesman Nick Pacilio said, "We can confirm a criminal investigation is underway."