San Diego Mayor Refuses to Step Down Amid Harassment Charges

Image: San Diego Mayor Refuses to Step Down Amid Harassment Charges

Tuesday, 16 Jul 2013 03:49 PM

By Courtney Coren

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San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is refusing to resign after sexual harassment claims made against him by former supporters.

Letters were sent to Filner, a former U.S. congressman, last week by City Councilwoman Donna Frye and two lawyers — Marco Gonzalez and Cory Briggs — who were all former supporters, asking for his resignation.

"I'm not going to resign, and here's why," Filner said in a statement Monday. "As your elected mayor, I fully expect to be accountable to the citizens of San Diego for all of my actions.

"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."

Frye held a second press conference Monday, following the mayor's statement, describing the harassment claims against him in more detail, Politico reports.

She described Filner as a chronic harasser and that he is "tragically unsafe for any woman to approach."

"I'm a hugger, with both men and women and if it turns out that . . . those are taken in an offensive manner, I need to have a greater sense of awareness of what I am doing," Filner said in an interview with San Diego television station KUSI.

Frye detailed the experiences of two women that she says went well beyond hugging — both claiming that Filner tried to kiss them.

Last week, Frye held a press conference with the two attorneys, and said that the behavior of the mayor toward several women on his staff was "truly reprehensible," but that they were too afraid to come forward. She did not reveal any details at that time.

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