Filner Won’t Resign; Apologizes, Says He Needs Help
Thursday, July 11, 2013
Aired 7/11/13 on KPBS News.
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner apologizes, but says he will not resign over allegations that he sexually harassed numerous women.
Conceding that he has behaved inappropriately with women, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner said today that he will not resign and is seeking "professional help" to deal with his behavior.
In a DVD statement, Filner said:
"I begin today by apologizing to you. I have diminished the office to which you elected me. I have reached into my heart and soul and realize 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.
"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 who can make these changes.
"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."
At a morning news conference, former Councilwman Donna Frye -- who was on Filner's staff till April -- was joined by attorney Marco Gonzalez in calling for Filner's resignation. Gonzalez said he represents multiple women alleging they were sexually harassed by Filner.
Contacted by KPBS News, Gonzalez said this afternoon that he is consulting with his clients on how to respond to Filner's mea culpa and will be commenting tomorrow on this development.
Special Feature Read the Backstory
All of the accusations, statements and apologies from the key players in the developing story about allegations of sexual harassment in Mayor Bob Filner's office and calls from former mayoral supporters for his resignation.
In an exclusive interview with KPBS today, Filner's ex-fiancee Bronwyn Ingram said she's saddened by the allegations of sexual harassment against the mayor. Ingram, who lives in Los Angeles, declined to comment on whether she knew of the allegations, if they were the basis for ending her relationship with Filner last week or whether she thinks he will resign.
She did note during the interview, however, that she has respect for Frye.