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Democratic Chair: If Allegations Are True, Filner Should Resign

The chairwoman of the San Diego County Democratic Party said today that allegations of sexual harassment against San Diego Mayor Bob Filner are grounds for his resignation, if proven to be true.

The chairwoman of the San Diego County Democratic Party said today that allegations of sexual harassment against San Diego Mayor Bob Filner are grounds for his resignation, if proven to be true.

Photo by Brad Racino / inewsource

Mayor Bob Filner

The statement released by Francine Busby came after a meeting of the county party's central committee Thursday night, at which attendees were divided as to whether the mayor should step down immediately.

Filner apologized last week but now is calling for an investigation and "due process.''

In the statement, Busby said the discussion at the meeting was "intense, honest, and deeply personal'' but failed to reach a consensus.

"However, I can share some broad areas of agreement among Democratic Party leaders,'' Busby said. "We unequivocally condemn sexual harassment and workplace intimidation. We abhor the actions he is alleged to have taken against women, even as we recognize that all the individuals involved have a legal right to a fair hearing.

"The mayor has betrayed the trust of the people of San Diego,'' Busby said. "These serious charges, if shown to be true, are grounds for immediate resignation. The Democratic Party will continue to monitor this situation and take further steps as warranted.''

Also today, House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, declined to call for the resignation of Filner, who represented San Diego in Congress for 20 years.

Pelosi told reporters that "what goes on in San Diego is up to the people of San Diego.''

The Republican Party of San Diego County put out its own statement that said Democrats failed to protect the women of San Diego who are in danger of being harassed and retaliated against for speaking up.

"As a woman, I am horrified not only at the tales coming out of the mayor's office, but the admissions of leaders in the Democratic Party that they knew about Bob Filner's behavior all along,' county GOP Executive Director Francis Barraza said. "This should not be a partisan issue ... .''

Barraza said Democrats have shown that they care more about preserving political power than standing up for women who have been victimized.

Individual Democrats who have called on Filner to resign include Councilmen David Alvarez and Todd Gloria, members of the local congressional delegation Susan Davis and Scott Peters, local Assemblywomen Toni Atkins and Lorena Gonzalez.

The allegations were originally made public last week by three local Democratic power brokers. Donna Frye, a former councilwoman, and lawyers Cory Briggs and Marco Gonzalez, who is Lorena's brother. All called on the mayor to step down immediately.

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