Filner accuser reacts to Mayor’s statement

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SAN DIEGO – One of the women who accused Mayor Bob Filner of sexual harassment is calling his latest statement “insulting.”

Filner announced Friday afternoon he will be taking two weeks leave to attend an “imorgan rosentensive therapy” program. In his statement he issued an apology “to the women I have offended.”

Morgan Rose, a school psychologist who said Filner harassed her when he was a Congressman, said his plan to stay in office is not surprising.

“In his statement today he was saying ‘I’m addicted. I’m staying in power and control, because that’s my addiction,’” she said.

Rose is one of seven women who have accused Filner of sexual harassment.

“He needs for the sake of his victims to leave office and personally to leave town,” said Rose.

She said she does not believe therapy will change his behavior.

“I don’t expect him to truly ever grasp the harm that he has done and the insult that he just gives us again over and over again by saying he’s going to stay in office,” she said.

Attorney Gloria Allred released a statement Friday afternoon about Filner’s decision to enter rehab. Allred is representing Irene McCormack Jackson, the first woman to publicly accuse Filner of harassment.

“I view his decision to seek therapy as a ploy to stay in power and to try to gain sympathy,” said Allred. She added, “If he feels that he needs therapy, he should resign first and then seek it.  It is ridiculous to think that he needs therapy in order to understand that women deserve respect and should not be treated like pieces of meat.”

As these women continue to call for Filner’s resignation, so is the San Diego County Democratic Party.

“We do think that it’s really important that there is a mayor in San Diego that can give his full, his or her, full attention to the business of the city,” said Francine Busby, Chair. “So clearly being in the treatment center diminishes his ability to do that substantially.”
Fox 5 attempted to contact the Mayor’s office numerous times Friday regarding where Filner will attend rehab, how the bill will be paid and whether his leave will be paid. None of the messages were returned.

For insight, Fox 5 spoke with Chris Morris, who was Assistant City Attorney under former City Attorney Mike Aguirre.

“The health programs I was familiar with when I was with the city, residential lock-down rehab type facilities, are typically not covered in any of the city healthcare plans,” said Morris.

He added that it would depend on the specifics of the healthcare plan Filner chose.

As for who will pay for the rehab, Morris does not believe it will not be the taxpayers.

“The money for him to work on himself should be his own money,” said Morris. “That’s typically how that works. In this situation it certainly shouldn’t be taxpayer dollars. I can’t imagine it would be.”

The Mayor said he’ll be briefed each morning and night about city affairs, but did not say whether anyone else will be in charge in his absence.

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