Current Weather
The Spy FM

San Diego Mayor Faces More Calls To Resign

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
July 17, 2013

San Diego voters knew that Bob Filner could act like a jerk on occasion. But in 2012, they elected him mayor anyway.

Now, though, Filner’s behavior may have crossed a threshold that few politicians can recover from.

The Democrat is facing numerous accusations of sexual harassment, and growing calls for him to step down from office.

At a press conference on Monday, attorneys Marco Gonzalez, Cory Briggs and former council member Donna Frye — all former Filner supporters — revealed the details of the allegations from three women who wish to remain anonymous.

According to statements from the women, one campaign volunteer said the mayor “[jammed] his tongue down her throat” and groped her; a constituent said that he kissed her and asked her on a date; a staffer said that he “grabbed her ass and touched her chest.”

The women described a “Filner dance” they invented to avoid his advances and the “Filner headlock” he would put them in. According to Gonzalez, the mayor said things like, “They would do a better job on that floor if they worked without their panties on.”

Just when it seemed it couldn’t get worse, Filner’s former fiancee, Bronwyn Ingram, came forward with the reasoning for their split after realizing an email she sent to one of Filner’s security personnel would be released via a public records request.

“Bob’s constant infidelities which are being flaunted in my face lately along with his abusiveness and disrespect has become absolutely intolerable,” she wrote in the email.

In a statement to KPBS, Ingram asked him to resign. “Bob’s behavior continued to become more aggressive; standard decorum seemed to disappear,” she stated. “Bob recently began texting other women sexually explicit messages and setting up dates while in my presence and within my line of vision.”

Ingram isn’t the only one who thinks he should step down. So do several City Council members and local members of Congress. They’re joined by the San Diego National Organization for Women.

And the results of a SurveyUSA poll from Friday say 59 percent of San Diego voters think the mayor should go.

In response to the initial allegations, Filner didn’t deny any of the incidents. He released a video last week apologizing: “I’ve reached into my heart and soul and realized that I must and will change my behavior. … I am also humble to admit that I need help. I have begun to work with professionals to make changes in my behavior and approach.”

He has since hired an attorney, Harvey Berger, and made Walt Ekard interim chief operating officer.

Filner’s abrasive personality has gotten him in trouble in the past. In 2007, an airport employee claimed in a criminal complaint that Filner, then a congressman, screamed at and pushed her. The House Ethics Committee ultimately dropped the investigation, although Filner had to pay $100 and send an apology letter. The incident became grist for an emotional 2012 attack ad by Filner’s Republican opponent, Carl Demaio, which featured the airport employee recounting how she would “never forget he told me ‘you can’t stop me.’ “

The San Diego County Democratic leadership, whose central committee is made up of around 60 members, will meet Thursday evening to determine an official response. Filner, who has refused to resign and insists he is innocent of sexual harassment, has been invited to attend. [Copyright 2013 NPR]

Leave a Reply

9PM to 10PM The Spy

The Spy

An eclectic mix of the Spy's library of more than 10,000 songs curated by Ferris O'Brien.

Listen Live Now!

10PM to 11PM The Blank Generation

The Blank Generation

Our punk show, The Blank Generation, is hosted by Katie Jones and Chad Hunnicutt. Katie has been attending punks shows for more than half her life. Chad is a member of local band, The Muck Savages.

View the program guide!

11PM to 5AM The Spy

The Spy

An eclectic mix of the Spy's library of more than 10,000 songs curated by Ferris O'Brien.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center