SD Mayor Reverses Course: Says He Isn’t Guilty Of Sexual Harassment, Won’t Resign

ASSOCIATED PRESS

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner (D), embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal, reiterated Monday that he will not give up his post despite a slew of area politicians calling for his resignation.

“As your elected mayor, I fully expect to be accountable to the citizens of San Diego for all of my actions,” Filner said in a statement, as quoted by CNN. “But as a citizen of this country, I also expect — and am entitled to — due process, and the opportunity to respond in a fair and impartial venue to specific allegations. I do not believe I am guilty of sexual harassment, and I believe a full presentation of the facts will vindicate me.”

Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA), a “long-time ally” of Filner’s, called for his resignation Monday, according to the U-T San Diego.

“Despite his inclusive vision for San Diego, Mayor Filner has lost the confidence of San Diegans to lead,” Davis said in a statement, as quoted by the U-T San Diego. “He has taken advantage of the trust the voters placed in him – and lost both the promise and capacity to ignite positive change. His behavior, if not illegal, is reprehensible.”

Filner had issued a contradictory statement last week in which he admitted to sexually harassing women who worked for his office, saying “I need help.” 

Filner’s ex-fiancee Bronwyn Ingram further stoked the flames of the scandal in a separate statement she released Monday that was published in the U-T San Diego. Ingram cited verbal harassment and sexually explicit messages Filner would send other women as motivation for calling off their engagement last week. She further denied any knowledge of the sexual harassment charges facing the mayor in the statement.

“I do not have any direct knowledge of details in the many controversies surrounding bob, including the sexual harassment charges,” the statement reads. “But I do know that anyone embroiled in so many serious controversies is impaired in ability to run a city. As someone who believes with all my heart in our shared vision for the city, someone who campaigned day and night to help elect Bob, it gives me great pain to admit that he is no longer capable of carrying out that vision.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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