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Supporters Ask Filner To Resign Over Sexual Harassment Claims

UPDATE: Mayor Filner responds to allegations, calls for resignation

Above: Mayor Bob Filner talks to reporters about his proposed budget.

Aired 7/11/13 on KPBS Midday Edition.

GUESTS

Marco Gonzalez, is a cofounder and Managing Partner of Coast Law Group LLP.

Carl Luna, political science professor, San Diego Mesa College

Transcript

Former Councilwoman Donna Frye, who was a member of Filner’s staff until she resigned in April, and attorneys Marco Gonzalez and Cory Briggs, each hand-delivered letters to Filner requesting his immediate resignation Wednesday and echoed those requests at a Thursday morning press conference.

Gonzalez told reporters that despite their support of the mayor until this point, he, Frye and Briggs could no longer stay quiet about the allegations.

"There comes a point where rumor becomes fact," he said. "We can no longer say 'that's just a rumor.' We have reached that point."

In her letter to Filner, Frye said she has "received credible evidence of more than one woman being sexually harassed by you." She made it clear in an interview that she is not among the alleged harassment victims.

“I cannot in good conscience remain silent on this, even if those who have spoken to me choose to do so out of fear of retribution or the possibility of a media circus where they could be twice victimized,” she said in the letter.

Donna Frye
Enlarge this image

Above: Donna Frye

Coast Law Group cofounder Marco Gonzalez.

Document

Marco Gonzalez's Letter

Marco Gonzalez's Letter

A letter from Coast Law Group cofounder Marco ...

10 News

Attorney Cory Briggs.

During Thursday's conference, Frye tearfully told reporters of the seriousness of the allegations and why she was willing to come forward on behalf of the victims.

She also noted that despite her understanding that the press wanted answers about specifics, she asked that caution be used when attempting to hunt down the victims for comment.

"I'm much more sympathetic to the people who have brought these allegations and the women who are too scared to speak," she said. "I feel that now this matter needs to be discussed with Mayor Filner. That needs to be the next step."

City Council President Todd Gloria, who would fill in for Filner if he resigned, also called on the mayor to address the allegations.

"Sexual harassment is a serious matter, and these allegations deserve a response," he said in a statement issued Thursday. "San Diegans need to hear from the Mayor soon."

Attorneys Briggs and Gonzalez who have appealed to Filner are longtime supporters of Democratic causes and candidates — notably Filner in his campaigns for San Diego mayor and for Congress, where he represented San Diego and Imperial County residents for more than two decades.

Briggs, a well-known environmental lawyer who backed Filner last year, released his letter publicly Wednesday. In it, he asked for Filner's resignation, but was circumspect, saying, “I have spent the better part of my career standing up for principles of open, accountable, responsible government. It’s clear to me that your office has violated these principles …”

During the press conference, Briggs told reporters that he found out about the sexual harassment allegations as he was working through information about the relationship between Filner, the city and Sunroad Enterprises.

Filner was accused of shaking down a developer for a $100,000 donation to a veteran’s memorial and bike-safety campaign. Sunroad is no stranger to controversy. Former San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders was also accused of corrupt dealings with the company.

Media reports say the FBI is investigating the latest Sunroad controversy.

Gonzalez, also an environmental lawyer who has taken on high-profile, controversial issues, told KPBS that he represents “multiple women” who claim sexual harassment by Filner.

His letter to Filner was direct:

“At our recent meeting I was of the impression that you understood the gravity of the circumstances surrounding your treatment of staff, and in particular, the women who work for you in the Office of the Mayor.

“… While this is an extremely difficult message to convey, as members of a progressive community that prides itself on our support for women, their issues, and especially equality in the workplace, we cannot sit idly by and watch your inexcusable behavior continue.

“What we would not accept for our enemies, we cannot condone of our friends.”

Although Gonzalez said he has "multiple women clients," no lawsuits have been filed. Gonzalez told victims of the alleged harassment that the three who hosted the press conference were ready to hear from them if they wanted to speak.

"Whether you're the mayor, the head of a small company, there are certain things that are intolerable, specifically with respect to women," he said. "You know why we're here...We're here for you. We'll take the hit as far as we have to, as long as we have to."

Reporters with NBC 7/39 tried to get information from Filner as they shared an elevator in Filner's apartment complex Downtown, but he did not give any indication whether he would resign or if he had a response to the letters.

Voice of San Diego reporter Liam Dillon also asked Filner about the allegations Wednesday. According to a tweet from Dillon, Filner walked away when the subject came up.

Repeated calls and emails from KPBS News to Filner's office have not been returned.

Filner's engagement to Bronwyn Ingram fell apart this week. It is unclear whether Ingram's decision to end the relationship with Filner is related to the sexual harassment claims.

A claims analyst for the Social Security Administration, Ingram was at Filner’s side often during last fall’s campaign and at various civic events. She has not returned calls requesting an interview.

Ingram – whom Filner introduced as “The First Lady of San Diego” – headed a campaign out of the mayor’s office to improve conditions for the city’s homeless. In announcing the termination this week of their engagement, Ingram expressed regret over not being able to continue working on the mayor’s issues.

Frye, who delivered her letter to the mayor’s office yesterday afternoon, said her primary concern is for the victims of this abuse. She is adamant about not disclosing their identities without their permission.

The mayor has not contacted her since the letter was delivered, Frye said.

Frye said she was very reluctant to go public with her resignation request, fearing the women could be victimized twice; and she pleaded for restraint by the press.

Frye, who twice ran unsuccessfully for mayor herself, campaigned for Filner last fall. She took a job in his administration as the director of open government, working with council offices and community groups to “keep the city’s business open and public.”

Frye resigned in April, saying at the time that she wanted to accept the presidency of Californians Aware, a nonprofit advocating for open government across the state.

While Frye, Briggs and Gonzalez have come forward, other supporters have not included themselves in the call for Filner's resignation.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, also a prominent supporter of the mayor, joined the three in calling for him to address sexual harassment allegations but stopped short of asking him to leave ofice.

"Sexual harassment in the workplace is completely and totally unacceptable. I, like most San Diegans, am trying to fully understand what allegations are being made and fully expect the Mayor to respond publicly," she told U-T San Diego in a statement.

Gonzalez was instrumental in electing Filner, as she marshaled labor forces in the region on his election and other Democratic causes last fall as head of the labor council. She was later elected to the legislature herself and left the labor council in the hands of San Diego Unified school board trustee Richard Barrera.

Barrera, who holds office in the labor council as secretary-treasurer, said "Our commitment is always to the workers of San Diego...we take any allegations of harassment in the workplace extremely seriously. We're anticipating the mayor's response and a full review of the facts."

KPBS news partner 10News reports that sources told them the Mayor’s trip to France last month cost the city $22,000. That money paid for two city police officers to accompany the mayor as his security detail.

It has been a summer of scandal and accusations against the mayor, who has only been in office a little over six months. Filner and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith have been embroiled in a bitter political feud, with the Republican city attorney accusing the Democratic mayor of being abusive.

Both sides are accusing the other of engaging in questionable -- even illegal --behavior. The mayor may have kicked Deputy City Attorney Andrew Jones out of a closed session City Council meeting, but the City Attorney’s office is now being sued over inappropriately leaking a redacted transcript of that same meeting. Andrew Jones is also one of the names Filner singled out for firing when his budget cut $1.4 million from the City Attorney’s budget.

Last month there were two more high-profile resignations, including that of Irene McCormack, Filner’s Director of Communications. Filner has not yet replaced her or Deputy Chief of Staff Allen Jones, who also resigned after criticizing the mayor’s treatment of staff in a meeting.

Meanwhile, Briggs – who has sued Goldsmith to release the full closed-meeting transcript – also sued the City and Sunroad, alleging back-room dealing.

Comments

Avatar for user 'IAmATVJunkie'

IAmATVJunkie | July 10, 2013 at 3:59 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

What Briggs and Frye are asking is that Filner walk away without his accusers even having to make their claims. The women involved must make their allegations in a public forum. There's issues of due process that need to be addressed.

Filner's not going anywhere without a fight. It seems to me there are people who have wanted him out from the start and they've been charging at him since he took the oath. He was right on the Travel Marketing District case, his city attorney works harder against him than for the city, and now this comes up and supposedly sober individuals like Donna Frye are demanding he walk away without due process?

I smell a rat. I'm not saying Filner isn't a misogynist, he very well might be. I'm saying there's a lot of people trying to railroad this guy and I'd like to know the real reason why.

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Avatar for user 'my2cnz'

my2cnz | July 10, 2013 at 4:17 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Terribly sad, IF true. But tell me, how is that said claims have never been made against him before during all his years as Congressmen or working in Public Service? Maybe his office has been infiltrated. I wouldn't put it past his opponents.

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Avatar for user 'jad555'

jad555 | July 10, 2013 at 4:36 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Love the first two comments! Bob's office has been "infiltrated," and he's being "railroaded" by, well, everyone in the city across the entire political spectrum. Denial ain't a river in Egypt.

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Avatar for user 'DonWood'

DonWood | July 10, 2013 at 4:37 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Sad. But under the law the mayor innocent until proven guilty. Nobody should be hounded out off office based solely on ugly rumors. If that were the case, every politician in the county could be targeted the same way. Despite that, I expect the UT to go on yet another unholy jihad against the mayor over this.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | July 10, 2013 at 4:51 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Add sexual harassment to the many other abuse and financial scandals which led to the resignation of his Deputy Chief of Staff, Communications Director, several other senior staffers, and his fiancee leaving him, this is it.

Bob Filner, do the right thing for San Diego and RESIGN NOW.

Don't drag this out and make the people suffer any longer than we already have.

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Avatar for user 'YODA777'

YODA777 | July 10, 2013 at 5:31 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Imagine that, Donna Frye back on the government dole? Hey Donna, its a given that you weren't the one sexually harassed, no need to clarify that . Hey Donna, take your immense talents out in the the private sector instead of living off of the taxpayer dime.

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Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | July 10, 2013 at 6:08 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

I'm getting ready to hear all of the "San Diego" jokes. This could be as good as Cleveland back in the 70's with Ralph Perk and the river catching on fire. LOL

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | July 10, 2013 at 6:31 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Anyone who thinks the mayor should resign based on hearsay is being ridiculous.

I admire Ms. frye but am disappointed with her actions here.

If the accusers want to come forward they will, and if they don't its their choice.

Frye and these attorney's are acting like Jr. high school gossip girls passing notes back and forth.

Until I see something credible from the source, I consider this pure trash gossip and support our mayor fully.

There are a lot of interest groups in town trying o smear and ruin Filner.

A lot.

With that in mind, taking a hearsay accusation seriously is pretty simple-minded.

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Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | July 10, 2013 at 6:36 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Just his name in an elongated way reminds me of a good sexual harassment joke.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | July 10, 2013 at 6:41 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Marco Gonzalez - for those who are wondering if the name sounds familiar, he's the guy trying to ban fireworks.

Article: "Although Gonzalez said he has "multiple women clients," no lawsuits have been filed."

Why not?

If Filner is brazenly harassing multiple women who work in the mayor's office, there should be ample evidence.

File the lawsuits and let the public see the evidence, if it's there.

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Avatar for user 'jlfraphael'

jlfraphael | July 10, 2013 at 8:05 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

I do want to see more evidence. I'm sorry, as much as I respect Donna Frye, I am not willing to have Filner leave wo proof that he committed these actions. I'm sorry if the supposed victims lose their privacy but if they choose not to go public, then Filner cannot be hounded out of office. If he did do these actions, then throw the book at him!

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Avatar for user 'no_soup_for_you'

no_soup_for_you | July 10, 2013 at 8:31 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

I want more evidence too. Not only are the 3rd-party accusers not revealing the parties alleging misconduct, they aren't even telling us what the conduct is! "Sexual harassment" is a broad term these days, and can range in seriousness from telling an off-color joke to groping someone or threatening job consequences without sexual favors. I at least want to know what kind of alleged sexual harassment is at issue here before passing judgment.

Frye says the accusers want to avoid a media circus, yet she is orchestrating a press conference? She is engaging in double-speak. And based on her quote, these women are people she knows well, I'm guessing city employees who were around when she was on the City Council and who remain there today. Frye left office in a rare state in politics today - scandal-free and well respected. She better have something tangible here otherwise she is putting her good and honest reputation on the line.

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Avatar for user 'nikkineel'

nikkineel | July 10, 2013 at 8:43 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Donna is AWESOME but I think she is being played. The timing of this is more than suspect...right after developers launched a very anemic effort to recall Filner.

All we have r allegations and if there is evidence especially video evidence then this whole thing was no doubt a set-up...honeypot anyone?

Filner has been the best mayor in decades and special interests on ALL sides want him out. We MUST support him. he is all weve got.

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Avatar for user 'we6jbo'

we6jbo | July 10, 2013 at 9:23 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

I seem to recall something similar to this happening during Filner's candidacy that was brought up by his opponent.

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Avatar for user 'ericdamian'

ericdamian | July 10, 2013 at 9:36 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

I for one would like to agree with all the Filner enablers here. I don't want him to go, not yet. I want the ugly truth brought out over days and weeks. I want the women of this city to be reminded of which party is waging a war on women. I want every sickening detail brought out and then, once this pig is utterly humiliated and the enviro/union/feminazi crowd that put him in office is reduced to irrelevancy, then Filner can resign and go to his empty home.

Yes, Mr Filner, fight on. Please.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | July 10, 2013 at 9:44 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Nice try Eric but regardless of what happens to Filner, San Diego has still progressed beyond the right-wing hornet's nest it was a couple decades ago.

Look at the numbers, San Diego becomes more blue each year.

If you hate non right-wingers that much, you are better off moving yourself to Texas instead of salivating over Filner.

By the way, sweet pea, even without Filner you are still in California so your anti-choice, anti-women agenda won't fly here.

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Avatar for user 'twells'

twells | July 10, 2013 at 10:25 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Expecting a politician to do the right and moral thing is like expecting ice to spontaneously combust. Filner won't leaving until the evidence is overwhelming.

He may be innocent, but given his antics since coming into office, it would not surprise me that he felt entitled to whatever behavior he has exhibited.

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Avatar for user 'philosopher3000'

philosopher3000 | July 11, 2013 at 1:29 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

OK, so here is my theory. The hotel and development people made a back room deal with Jan Goldsmith to get a couple of Republican women who were hired under Sanders to accuse Mayor Filner of 'groping' (i.e. touching) them. Yet, they are too afraid of being caught in a lie, and unwilling to sacrifice their private lives to take him down. So, the Machiavellian business types send them to Dona Fry, a known intelligent woman of integrity, to divide the progressive Democrats against themselves. Am I close?

Even if 70+ year old Mayor Filner 'touched' a woman, he wouldn't be doing it sexually. And the FACT that these cowardly women refuse to accuse him publicly demonstrates that they lack the integrity to stand behind their words. Unless their is some video proof to the contrary, I'm sticking with Filner on this. He is doing TOO GOOD A JOB AS MAYOR. I've been around him at parties, canvasing events, election phone banks, etc. and NEVER seen him do anything like what he is being accused of doing. Wait, what exactly IS HE BEING ACCUSED OF AGAIN?

Words without PROOF, are nothing more than words. Did you finish beating your wife today?

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | July 11, 2013 at 5:16 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

If Filner were to resign, we would have a special election, and in the meantime Mr. Todd Gloria would become interim mayor.

That would also position Gloria well for running in the election.

Gloria has been at odds with Filner too on certain issues, and he is pretty obvious about his mayoral ambitions.

Gloria is also close friends with Frye, and he also has a long history with DeMaio serving on the city council together.

The city attorney despises Filner so much that, even though he's a Republican, he would prefer a Democrat like Gloria with whom he has a better working relationship with being Mayor.

All these people are long-term city hall insiders, as are, in all likelihood, the women accusers.

Frye, Goldsmith, Gloria, DeMaio - all long-time city government establishment who all want control over how our city is run, and all who think San Diego's top governmental power position should go to people who work their way up from the inside, not someone who was out of their clique serving in congress for two decades.

Until I see victims come forward, hear their stories, and examine evidence, the plausibility that this is a huge POWER GRAB AT CITY HALL remains a very real possibility.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | July 11, 2013 at 5:21 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

If Frye and Gonzalez produce no actual victims in their circus press conference today, their credibility as reputable city leaders is gone in my opinion.

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Avatar for user 'lkstaack'

lkstaack | July 11, 2013 at 6:57 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

I'm pretty surprise at the supporting comments for the Mayor despite the serious allegations against him. These allegations could be discounted if they were forwarded by the UT or other anti-Filner sources, but stalwart Democrats have leveled them. Also, loyal Filner supporters have recently resigned positions within his administration in protest to his conduct. How can there be any doubt that Filner is abusive, perhaps pathologically so?

Donna Frye has always shown herself to be a woman of integrity and grace. How could anyone attack her behavior or motives? If she believes that the Mayor engaged in repeated sexual harassment, I'm inclined to believe her.

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Avatar for user 'Mmikey'

Mmikey | July 11, 2013 at 8:04 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

I wonder if ( when) his cohorts from his time in congress will chime in?

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Avatar for user 'Mmikey'

Mmikey | July 11, 2013 at 8:06 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

now that Gonzalez is involved, the accusations do lose some credibility .

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Avatar for user 'lucindacross'

lucindacross | July 11, 2013 at 8:47 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Let's just hold on and find out what's really going on? He's been pissing our city counsel off, and the special interests of our corrupt city government. I for one think it's a little much for all these bozo's to be calling for him to quit, when we haven't heard a thing from him? We voted him in, not the city counsel!

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Avatar for user 'CoastalSanDiego'

CoastalSanDiego | July 11, 2013 at 8:54 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

I have personally witnessed the mayor act inappropriately and in a sexually suggestive way at an event, towards my friend. The event was a public one, in a San Diego Museum, that was for a children's organization. The mayor said multiple inappropriate things at the event, and towards my friend. We were shocked that a mayor would act that way at all, let alone when he was representing the city, with and towards women he had never met. He acted as a classic chauvinistic pig.
We left the event feeling horrible and awkward. I even mused that all anyone would have to do to get Filner out of office was have a hidden camera and large breasts. He'd take care of the rest. I didn't say that lightly.
I knew he was engaged, and it made it all the more disgusting. I even voted for him. *sigh*
After the news came out yesterday, I was not surprised at all.
I've encouraged my friend to detail her experience with Mr. Gonzalez, and she has.
I'm proud of my friend. As I told her, "If that is how he acted, with you, a grown, strong, female stranger, imagine how he may act towards a woman in his employ, that he has direct influence over. You must protect other women, too."
Thank You to those that are standing up against a man that should not be representing the women of San Diego.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | July 11, 2013 at 9:18 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

@IAMAJUNKIE, EVEN if all the allegations were true . . . how does that define Filner as a "misogynyist"???

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | July 11, 2013 at 9:19 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Mr. Wood, it was the Liberal KPBS who broke the story. Sorry to disappoint you.

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Avatar for user 'Eddie89'

Eddie89 | July 11, 2013 at 9:21 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Take it to trial before judge and jury. Present the evidence, plaintiffs and testimony. And after preponderance of the evidence, let the jury render its verdict on Mayor Filner.

Until that happens, everything else is just hearsay.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | July 11, 2013 at 9:24 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

From comments I have seen on this and other websites discussing this matter, accusations are flying that Mayor Filner is a serial pervert.

Not someone who had one inappropriate relationship with a co-worker and tried to cover it up, but someone who brazenly and in public can't control himself sexually and makes lewd innuendos regardless of where he is or who he is with.

In fact, some of the comments I am reading paint a picture of someone with borderline turret's syndrome roaming our city like an escaped criminally insane deviant looking to ogle and molest anyone in a skirt – women telling tales of him hitting on them in elevators, at parties, in open office space, literally on the street.

The problems I have with this are:

(1) Someone this outwardly brazen and perverse could not possibly survive two decades in Congress without at least one sexual harassment suit being filed and at least one sexual harassment complaint leaking to the media

(2) Where were all these alleged victims during the campaign?

I heard plenty of complaints about Filner during the campaign - he was too bullish, loud, angry - but I never once heard anything about sexist or a sexual harasser.

Look how much press Filner got when he blew up at an airport employee several years ago - it was everywhere, the story could not be contained and the media had a field day with it. If he were brazenly harassing women like this while in Congress, certainly some media story would have ran wild about it at least once, especially with all of Filner’s blood-thirsty political foes out there.

The fact that there has been not one allegation of sexual harassment in Filner's past that has been noted - and not one sexual harassment lawsuit filed - I believe warrants at least our willingness to see who exactly is accusing him, and what his side of the story is before passing judgment.

I suppose it's possible that Filner managed to contain himself for decades while serving in the U.S. Congress and then suddenly at age 70 decided to become mayor of San Diego and start going to public events where he knows he's being watched and even taped and start sexually harassing any woman he encounters, but how likely is this really?

He kept it in his pants and kept his mouth quiet at all the Washington parties and events for decades, with all his D.C. staffers, but suddenly in San Diego for less than 7 months he is making sexual advances at hoards of women both at work and out in public??

There is just something that doesn't smell right with this, that's all I'm saying.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | July 11, 2013 at 9:24 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

And I am a long-time supporter of Donna Frye - I wrote-in her name for mayor (and, unlike the dullards, I ALSO checked the damn box next to her name) and I have admired her service to our city, so I am not picking sides because I have a dog in this fight. I just really think Filner is being set-up in some way (not implying Donna is doing anything wrong, I think she is possibly being taken advantage of as well by some people she thinks she can trust who are actually involved in a bigger political stunt).

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | July 11, 2013 at 9:31 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

NO SOUP FOR YA, too broad, I would say--and we can thank the post New Left feminist legislators in his own party for THAT!

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Avatar for user 'ICare'

ICare | July 11, 2013 at 9:59 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

FINALLY!!!!! Finally this is getting out. Many of us, especially women, have known this about Bob Filner for decades. Most of the women he has come onto in the last 30 years have verbally said to him directly, "leave me alone" and then walked away, not talking it to the press. He is well known to have had numerous women in Washington as well here in San Diego while married to both ex-wives. During his mayoral campaign several women quit the campaign because of the harassment both verbally and sexually. Peking_Duck SD, so sorry to disappoint you and so many others who worked so hard for a democrat to get into the mayor's office after so long. But most women do not "set up" a man who harasses them, they tell the truth. The comments here of those who think there is some kind of conspiracy going on are fooling themselves. This town is not smart enough to come up with such conspiracy stories and then implement such an idea. No people. Sorry to disappoint you all. This is just the plain truth about an older icky narcissistic man who thinks is sh** does not stink but his farts give him away. Allen Jones is a long standing well respected member of our community...and Irene McCormick is one of the best in the county with expertise in communications with municipalities. If these two very respected people resigned because of the goings on in the Mayor's office, something does stink and needs to be investigated. I encourage the women to come on out and let the public know what Mayor Filner has said, done and implied to them. The people of San Diego deserve to hear from you so they too know what a "toad" this guy is. WIth PRIDE this weekend, I think a few "boo's" from the on lookers is in order. TURN YOUR BACK ON FILNER. He has turned his on us!

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Avatar for user 'Pookster1'

Pookster1 | July 11, 2013 at 10:28 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Filner has been in politics for decades and if I understand correctly, his 'inappropriate behavior' is not new. Why now? Why did no one come forward during his campaign? I am certain DeMaio and others would have done a happy dance in a tub full of whipped cream and champagne-especially once the allegations leaked.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | July 11, 2013 at 10:36 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

@MIKEY. WHICH Gonzalez and how so?

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | July 11, 2013 at 10:36 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

ICare, I was not implying the women alleging sexual harassment are trying o mastermind something, I was implying Filner's political foes - maybe even some in his own party whom aspire to be Mayor - COULD be behind it and using the women as puppets.

Again, I don't know what happened because Ms. Frye and the lawyers unfortunately gave a news conference that left more questions than answers and gave absolutely zero specifics.

Your post in a way proves my point in my previous post - you allege Filner has been this way for 3 decades - THEN WHY HAS NOT ONE SEXUAL HARASSMENT SUIT BEEN FILED BEFORE?

A prominent politician who is under the magnifying glass for every mis-step he makes has been blatantly making unwanted sexual advances while in office for THREE DECADES and not a SINGLE person has ever come forward until now?

Forgive me, but certainly you must see how this looks very strange.

You yourself seem very upset by this, but you have a posting history on here that includes posts about Mayor Filner and nothing is mentioned about him being sexually inapropriate towards women.

Since you knew he was like this "for decades", did you warn anybody when he was running for mayor?

Did you encourage people who had been sexually harassed by him to come forward when he was running for mayor?

Again, in my own opinion, something just doesn't sit right with all this, and the news conference by Frye and the lawyers certainly didn't curb the fishy smell.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | July 11, 2013 at 10:42 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

BICOASTALSANDIEGO, so if you and your "friend" werer sooo "shocked," why did she wait until now to talk to an attorney???

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Avatar for user 'Earl_Lee'

Earl_Lee | July 11, 2013 at 12:30 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

I agree with those that say that he is innocent until proven guilty. Whether I believe that they are probably true is besides the point.

I didn't vote for Filner and I do find much of his behavior as totally erratic over the past 6 months. But I don't think that everything he has done for San Diego has been bad either.

One of the biggest fears I had before was that he did indeed have the "I'm a Congressman and I can do anything I want" attitude as some of the campaign ads depicted. I did believe that about him.

And once he became Mayor I just believe that changed to, an 'I am Mayor and I can do whatever I want' type of attitude. Many of his actions over the past 6 months has been totally problematic and combative.

I know that there are Filner supporters out there that say things like "we need this take no BS type attitude to change the City". My philosophy is that at the very least we need a Mayor that will respect the law and act ethically. The fact that other previous Mayors might not have acted legally and ethically at all times doesn't change the fact that this mayor SHOULD.

The Sunroad incident was fairly obvious, IMHO, that he knew about it. It was clearly wrong and unethical and that is why the money was returned. The guy has his own insiders resigning over his actions and behavior.

Even the biggest Filner fan has to agree that many of these actions are simply wrong. As to this latest revelation about the sexual harassment claims. I do agree that the people that actually accused him need to file a formal complaint. While I respect their privacy, when someone's reputation and livelihood is at stake then it's essential. Especially if people they told are asking him to resign.

It seems to be a situation where people that formally supported him, want to quickly distance themselves from Mayor Filner as he has quickly become a liability instead of an ally. Some of these people probably have future political aspirations and as the old saying goes...you're known by the company that you keep.

While I don't doubt any harassment claims, it never seems like a good idea when law firms are involved asking the Mayor to resign. It comes across poorly because they are probably going to be involved in some sort of lawsuit against the Mayor and it could potentially involve financial gain. I don't know enough in this situation but it just doesn't come across well.

As far as Ms. Frye, that does seem disturbing as she formally supported him but again, it just seems to be a situation where people want to distance themselves from this 'ticking time bomb' that is Mayor Filner.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

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Avatar for user 'llk'

llk | July 11, 2013 at 12:31 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Bob Filner told my mom she was ugly. She is, but it wasn't Bob Filner's place to say so. I bet Carl DeMaio would've told her she was the prettiest woman he'd ever met. I should've voted for him.

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Avatar for user 'we6jbo'

we6jbo | July 11, 2013 at 12:47 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

We're talking about laws that would have put Jeff Olson in jail for 13 years had he been convicted of writing in chalk. No thanks!

If anything this sounds like a modern day witch trial.

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Avatar for user 'Ellis'

Ellis | July 11, 2013 at 1:09 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

I'm a Democrat and I voted, reluctantly, for Filner. Why reluctantly? Because many Democrats I know who had worked closely with Filner over the years had a very low opinion of him and were unhappy that he was the Democratic candidate. His personal "style" has been offensive to many, many people, including many who share his political leanings, for years.

Since he took office has has shown himself to be temperamentally a poor match for the position of Mayor. He needs to act professionally, collaboratively, and with the highest level of personal integrity if he wants to make a positive impact. He has failed on all counts. I say this even though I am in favor of many of the things he wants to do - which is why I voted for him. The problem is, he is ineffective because he is so impossible to work with and undermines himself by his own behavior.

The harassment charges of course need to be clearer before we know if they are reason to resign. But unfortunately they fit a pattern of disrespect for others and I don't find them hard to believe. I would be thrilled if he would resign and we could have a do-over. There are many better options (though DeMaio most certainly is NOT one of them, in my book).

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Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | July 11, 2013 at 1:22 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

All else being equal, doesn't it bother anyone that Bob Filner is all of a sudden a monster who isn't fit to be San Diego's mayor but was fit enough for Congress? Lots of shenanigans happened during Donna Frye's time on the Council. In light of the last 25-years, I wouldn't bestow infallibility on any of our local politicians.

They don't know how to govern. They only know how to campaign.

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Avatar for user 'BarryJohn'

BarryJohn | July 11, 2013 at 1:52 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

of course Filner is innocent until proven guilty or he self admits -- but what is interesting here to me, maybe ironic, is the power play being played. I am not talking about political power per se, but power dynamics in general - i infer that the Mayor has been confronted with various types of direct evidence, maybe emails, & corroborating testimonies; he has been afforded the opportunity to step down and or self admit in order to save face, stave off details - Marco, Frye & Briggs have constructed a power dynamic over him whereby he must comply with what they want, his resignation, or an imagined worst case scenario will occur; embarrassing details etc Classic harassers set up such dynamics in order to extract sexual behaviors from people they hold power over, and those recipients feel like they may lose their jobs, general favor if they don't comply - now Filner is on the short end of the stick. these lawyers have power over him with the information they have and he knows they have, and they want him to comply. This could be karma - i cant imagine this power play being played by Marco, Frye & Briggs without having their ducks lined up - and i believe that they are acting altruistically because all of their political interests certainly point the other way.

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Avatar for user 'DonWood'

DonWood | July 11, 2013 at 2:19 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

As Carl Luna correctly states, this is not a legal issue, its a political one. Then he says that Filner is a goner unless the Mayor comes up with proof that these anonymous allegations are false within 24 hours. How does somebody prove a negative?

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | July 11, 2013 at 2:51 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

I've been reading various media outlets regarding this (yes, it's national news now).

The best commentary I have found is by Frank Gormlie of the "OB Rag". A must read, he is spot-on:

http://obrag.org/?p=75291

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | July 11, 2013 at 3:22 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

By the way, this isn't about conservatives being "upset about drug dealers getting tax-payer subsidies", but rather about widling away the entire existence of the food stamp program.

Ban this group here, that group there, just keep banning, banning until you have nothing left.

Today they passed a farm bill without food stamp provisions at all in it for the first time since 1973:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/12/us/politics/house-bill-would-split-farm-and-food-stamp-programs.html?_r=0

It's no secret conservatives want food stamps gone. For everyone.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | July 11, 2013 at 3:24 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Sorry, the above post was meant for a different story, my apologies. It's a busy news day ;-)

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Avatar for user 'columbo3'

columbo3 | July 11, 2013 at 3:37 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Quite simply, do the citizens want a '70 year old admittedly broken and seeking help' mayor to represent, I think one of the best places to live, San Diego? I think not

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Avatar for user 'columbo3'

columbo3 | July 11, 2013 at 3:47 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Then I would contend that a second election is in order to see if the citizens are truly behind this guy, or not.

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Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | July 11, 2013 at 3:58 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

We live in a day and age where it is difficult for us to forgive and forget. That said, some things are unforgivable to many. With so much attention and zero tolerance for bullying and harassment, people have a right to be extremely disappointed in Bob Filner's performance as mayor. Filner has demonstrated a bully-boy style that is my-way-or-the-highway in a day and age where he should have learned in all his years in politics means the higher up you go, the more you have to play ball.

I'm no fan of Jan Goldsmith. I neither like nor dislike him. But the way Filner has treated Goldsmith and others is deplorable and inexcusable. In any workplace Filner's behavior would have been put in check by human resources, and for good reason. I think many people will accept Bob Filner's apology, but that does not mean we wish to see him continue as our mayor. Filner has brought negative publicity that will not go away as long as he remains in office. The focus will be on Filner and how he is learning to respect people around him versus how Filner can help our city overcome the challenges it faces.

Filner has taken the first step by admitting he has a problem and will receive training. Good for you, Bob. Now take the next step: Resign. Take a vacation, preferably outside of San Diego county. Get your personal life in order. Eventually you'll write a biography that will be a big hit. You'll make money on the lecture tour titled, 'How I've changed my life!'

Our city can only get important things done without personalities such as the type you've demonstrated holding office. I wish you luck and hope you really do change. More importantly, and forgive me for being selfish, I hope you leave us to run our city without you. It's the right thing, Bob.

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Avatar for user 'Earl_Lee'

Earl_Lee | July 11, 2013 at 5:01 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Now that he has admitted to this intolerable behavior I don't see the need for those that came forward to come forward.

As a father of a daughter, someone that has sisters as well as a wife. I wouldn't tolerate any male to sexually harass them and I doubt most reasonable people in society would allow it either. This boils down to basic common sense and decency. If the Mayor can't make common sense decision making on something like this there are most likely many other issues that followed the same path.

And the scary thing is it seems that this reprehensible behavior has been going on a very long time. This isn't something that should or can be tolerated.

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Avatar for user 'ICare'

ICare | July 11, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Hey Peking great questions. Indeed many of us have been warning people about Filner's issues with sexual harassment. It's why many of us democrats voted for Bonnie or Nathan. And some dems actually voted for Carl. And I think you are correct, the women in the past should have spoken up, especially in the mayoral campaign when women working for him departed because of his difficult and mean spirited ways with women. I have attacked Filner on these pages a few times for issues that I felt needed to be addressed. It has been so well known, his sexual advances at so many women over so many years, unfortunately, I think it became "business as usual for Filner" and too many of us, myself included, just figured "Bob was being Bob" and did not write or talk about it in the public domain. We were wrong not to do so. Donna Frye is a woman of incredible integrity and I trust her comments today, and her tears were real. Donna, like many of us, is disappointed that the possibilities of real change at city hall is now just a dream that has become a nightmare. We must start looking for someone to become mayor to bring integrity, smarts, action and love of community to our grand little big town. Let's find someone outside of the inside!

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Avatar for user 'susanbeach11'

susanbeach11 | July 11, 2013 at 6:48 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

When did these liberal democrats become "progressives," or is a better question when did KPBS buy into this designation? Was it when "liberal" became a dirty word?

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Avatar for user 'frodoblk'

frodoblk | July 12, 2013 at 4:11 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

Did anyone notice that one of the sleezball lawyers quietly slipped in the statement that they knew of no criminal behavior by Filner? Then what the hell is this press conference about? Resign or we'll release the kraken? I am so sad that Donna Frye stood up with those two lawyers who make all of their income suing the city of San Diego.

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Avatar for user 'citydweller'

citydweller | July 14, 2013 at 12:35 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

There have been a number of ways suggested to end this melodrama:
1. The Mayor could resign.
2. The alleged victims of sexual harassment could take their grievance to court.
3. The voters could recall Mr. Filner.

There is at least one more path, impeachment. I don't know whether it is better or worse than the other choices, but it is at least a political response to political misfeasance. If the Mayor is not convicted, it does leave him at best chastened and at worst crippled.

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