Mayor acknowledges sexual harassment, but refuses to resign

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SAN DIEGO — Mayor Bob Filner released an apologetic statement Thursday in response to allegations that he sexually harassed a number of women, but he refused to resign from office.
His statement follows:

bob-filnerI begin today by apologizing to you. I have diminished the office to which you elected me.

The charges made at today’s news conference are serious. When a friend like Donna Frye is compelled to call for my resignation, I’m clearly doing something wrong. I have reached into my heart and soul and realized I must and will change my behavior.

As someone who has spent a lifetime fighting for equality for all people, I am embarrassed to admit that I have failed to fully respect the women who work for me and with me, and that at times I have intimidated them.

It’s a good thing that behavior that would have been tolerated in the past is being called out in this generation for what it is: inappropriate and wrong.

I am also humbled to admit that I need help. I have begun to work with professionals to make changes in my behavior and approach. In addition, my staff and I will participate in sexual harassment training provided by the city. Please know that I fully understand that only I am the one that can make these changes.

If my behavior doesn’t change, I cannot succeed in leading our city.

In the next few days, I will be reaching out to those who now work in the Mayor’s Office or have previously worked for me – both men and women – to personally apologize for my behavior.
I will also be announcing fundamental changes within the Mayor’s Office designed to promote a new spirit of cooperation, respect and effectiveness.

You have every right to be disappointed in me. I only ask that you give me an opportunity to prove I am capable of change, so that the vision I have for our city’s future can be realized.


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  • Mark

    Enough already…Mayor Filner is not a leader. Recall Filner!
    This is in his core and can't be altered with training. San Diego deserves better!

  • Dan Adams

    He has come out & apologized for his behavior. Now it's time for the women who are letting others speak for them to come out in the open & voice their objections to his 'behavior' I'm tired of people making statements for others. We had a President who had a sexual relationship in the White House, lie about it, & continue on to be one of the greats. I wonder if all here who 'demand' Filner go, were so vocal about Clinton? Two wrongs DON'T make it right, but lets not act so pious here.

  • Eddie

    Get this puke out of office…RECALL FILNER!!! Maybe he can go work for Obama, he will fit right in there.

  • Nicholas C

    The Mayor should resign as his admitted behavior is unacceptable for a high level manager in government. Any other city employee who admitted to such EEO violations, criminal or not, would be fired. Why should he be allowed a lesser standard of conduct than his subordinates?

    Dan, your comments are exactly why these women have used their legal counsel to speak for them. This is also why sexual harassment remains a problem.

    Who replaces the Mayor should be irrelevant to the discussion of his fate. He needs to go and let the voters choose his replacement. That is why we have a democracy.

  • Danielle

    We are paying for a 100% position as Mayor. We may end paying for labor lawsuits for a starter.
    Do we need to wait to see what the end fallout is ? I don't think San Diego needs to wait for Filner to get help. If it was a staffer that did what has been alleged, they would have been tossed out of office immediately. Filner needs to leave office now.

    I applaud Donna Frye for having the integrity to bring this one issue out for everyone. The victims, constituents, taxpayers. I like the Dante quote that Marco referred to, “The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis”.
    If you do not take a stand, you ARE taking a stand .

    We need real transparency and open government. Let’s start now.

  • Concerned

    Filner has done too much damage and now San Diego has to deal with a soap opera for who knows how long while the truly important issues sit unresolved. Now with all the drama San Diego's doomed to be a joke to the rest of the country. Just great , way to go. = (

  • Save San Diego

    Any other citizen would be FIRED from their job for sexual harassment. Filner is suppose to be an "example" of our city and for our city. Special rules should not apply… you're FIRED!

  • guest

    No special treatment for Filner. So tired of his tantrums. He doesn't play well with others.
    He's gotta go.

  • Mike Angelo

    Agreed! Filner has to go! Like they said anyone else in any company would be kicked to the curb. So what if he is deepy sorry, he still did it. You can't teach this old dog new tricks, and the fact that he won't leave on his own just shows his true piece of shit character!

    F*ck Filner!

  • Van Dam

    Filner is great; now days if you look at a bitch for more than 5 seconds she is going to accuse you of sexual harassment so I don’t believe a word of that bullshit. Donna Frye needs to STFU with her old, wrinkled ass.

  • ...sigh...

    I am just curious, I may have missed a previous article, but what exactly has he been accused of doing? What was the actual harassment claim? According to this he apologized for not fully respecting them and at times intimidating them and that some things that were acceptable in the past are not now a days…I am curious what the actual accusations are if anyone can point me in the right direction.

  • GetReal

    The "city" is providing the sexual harassment training? Meaning tax dollars are paying to treat his personal problem? How about Mr. Filner uses his personal checking account to finance the treatment for his own issues? The city paying for sexual harassment training to prevent it from happening is one thing, but Mr.Filner has not only violated the rules of his job but he has also broken the law of the state of California. When will this state wake up and get it together? The people currently in power are not immune to another revolution. Party like its 1775!

  • Alan Mellor

    Filner is not above the law!!!! Fire him now!!! Why does he get special treatment? Hey, police department, hey city attorney, are you going to do something about this? If you don’t, don’t you dare give me a traffic ticket! A dui! Don’t arrest me for extortion! The law must be followed by everbody. Including you!

  • SoCalPastafrian

    "When a friend like Donna Frye is compelled to call for my resignation, I’m clearly doing something wrong" Really Bob??? Does it really take Donna Frye going public with your bad behavior for you to realize you've done something wrong? If you are that devoid of moral character you most definitely should not be mayor. Please do us all a favor and just resign.

  • MAD taxpayer

    Bob Filner owes it to the women involved to step down. Why would the City allow him to continue working as mayor along with the women he acknowledged he sexually harassed?

    Bob Filner has already forced the City to pay out taxpayer money to defend him in court for other matters and now, he is forcing the taxpayers to foot the bill to recall him because he won't step down! If those victims decide to press charges and/ or sue him and the City, it will cost the taxpayers even more!

    Fire him! The City owes it to the women involved!

  • Dani

    what is up with Fox5 for not deleting the comment made by poster Van Dam. The term used to describe women is insulting

  • leo

    he apologize he desirve a second chance no body is perfect on this world example even president excelent president he made a mistake too & he stay in office & fished a good job.

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