Filner says he’ll fight harassment allegations

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Mayor Bob FilnerSAN DIEGO — San Diego Mayor Bob Filner released a statement Monday stating his intention to stay in office and fight allegations that he has sexually harassed women.

In a statement announcing the appointment of a new chief operation officer for the city, Filner wrote:

“I’m not going to resign, and here’s why.  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.”

Acknowledging the growing chorus of voices calling for him to step down, Filner said the some have said that city operations will be harmed by the harassment controversy. Filner said he had appointed Walt Ekard as interim chieff operating officer of the city to make sure city business was not negatively impacted.

“Mr. Ekard is perhaps the most respected public administrator in the region and is nationally recognized for his successful and innovative management of the County of San Diego for over 14 years,” said Filner.

Filner said that Ekard appointed Scott Chadwick, the current chief operating officer, as his assistant and Judy VonKalinowski as human resources dired.

“Today’s announcements make clear the operations of City government will not be negatively impacted,” Filner said.

Filner has acknowledged that he failed to fully respect women, but he denied sexually harassing anyone.

Frye, Gonzalez and Briggs scheduled a news conference for 11 a.m. Monday.

So far, they have not disclosed specific allegations against Filner because they said they want to protect the women involved. One woman told local media that Filner touched her inappropriately behind closed doors and another said that he kissed her without her consent.

24 comments

  • RickPiranha

    I believe Filner is right he could only be guilty until proven guilty otherwise is as good as blackmail.

  • Guest

    But he already admitted to it!! He says he needs help! Now he changed his mind?? I don't get it…

  • LIZ

    that right Mr. Filner ! dont let those people get to you.
    you are a great mayor and they are just trying to get even with you because you are not conforming to there ways

  • Margo

    How can he focus on city needs if he is preoccupied with his personal problems? He needs to step down to deal with this case so that OUR CITY wont be the focus of his horrific crime, only he will.

  • Teri

    Why is he wasting all of our time and causing such a distraction when someone competent needs to run our city? It's not just this, it's the fact that he took an unnecessary and super expensive trip to Paris on OUR DIME…He took 100k contribution and first said he thought it was earmarked for a special project THEN changed his tune and is now being investigated by the FBI …He publicly bullies and belittles people – I can only IMAGINE how he treats people when OFF camera. It's not just that he's being accused of gross sexual harassment violations…it's so many things! A selfless person who truly has the cities best interest at heart would step down already. The fact that he does not proves that he's all in for himself and that giant ego of his. Come on…seriously. RESIGN ALREADY!

  • Common Cents

    AS a citizen I want to know what the charges are before I make any decisions. If no charges are brought then legally there are no pending charges, and legally there is no evidence or even a forum to discover eveidence and thus no way to determine innocence or guilt, and thus no way to take any negative employment action againt the person.

  • gene ebert

    its o k for a politican to sexual harrase someone but a real person would be fired on the spot. fire his ass you dummies wanted him elected. the guys a big loser

  • @robnesler

    This will likely end up costing the city TENS OF MILLIONS of dollars. Who's responsible for this – taxpayers or the Mayor?

  • Ho Lee Fuk

    For all the low-info voters that thought this guy would be a good mayor in the first place, and who now defend him in spite of overwhelming evidence that he is a completely incompetent jerk off, I say go hit the bong and get back to your protest and pride parades. Can you be any more irrelevant?

    • Teri

      You do realize that he barely won, right? That means close to half of us did NOT vote for him in the first place. No low-info here.

      • Ho Lee Fuk

        Teri, if you re-read what I wrote, very slowly, you might understand that I was only referring to the low-info morons who voted for him.

  • guest

    Just add sexual harassment to the l o n g list of his inappropriate behavior.
    Even without the harassment allegations, he needed to go.
    Questionable dealings with developers and $.
    Inability to work with others, including the city attorney.
    SAN DIEGO DESERVES BETTER !

  • Sum Ting Wong

    Wasnt he seen in a downtown window pulling his pud, by a mother and small child? Or was that someone else? I believe he was practicing the meat whistle at the time. He is also very good on the male organ. He was a champion baloney pony rider for awhile as well.

  • Juan Hong Lo

    Do you think Bob Filner is more like Peter on the Brady Bunch, or Kevin Cassidy on the Partridge Family. I'm undecided

  • Jared Callway

    I wouldn’t want to speak to FOX either, they are known to tweak stories and brainwash the majority…go to hell FOX!!!

  • Alan Mellor

    So, I understand due process, and he has that right. However, when his ex fiancee says that she caught him texting other women sexually explicit message in front of her. Two other women are willing and probably going to accuse him. Filner has admitted on his apology that he is guilty of this behavior and that he needs help. So, he may have or he may have not sexually harassed these women. However, if Filner knows that he did, then he should resign. Just because it is the right thing to do. You guys remember somebody by the name of Lance Armstrong? Filner is doing the same thing. He is living in denial. The truth will come forth. Now, does he (if he really cares about his city) want to drag the city through all that expense? First there will a sexual harassment claim file (this would be a criminal complaint), He will have to hire an attorney. Guess who will pay for his attorney at 500 dollars an hour? You guessed it!! THE CITY (Which is the tax payers). Time to fire 3 more teachers to pay for his attorney. If he is found guilty or takes a lesser plea, then there will be a civil lawsuit filed against him. Here we go again! Another attorney paid by the city. There goes 3 more teachers! At some point in time the city will settle! There goes another 10 teachers! So, is Filner more important than 16 teachers? If he resigns can all of this be avoided? Maybe. If he goes to the opposing party and negotiates it. Once the complaint is filed, and it will be, the ball has been set in motion! So, in the end, and mark my words (this is only a prediction), he will be found guilty and the city is going to be out about 3 million dollars.

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