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.