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Feinstein Calls On Filner To Resign

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a fellow Democrat, said on national TV today that Bob Filner needs to step down now as mayor for the good of San Diego.

Alex Wong

Getty Images

Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

He lacks the "moral compass" to provide leadership, Feinstein said.

Appearing on CNN's "State of the Union," the veteran California senator told reporter Candy Crowley that because of numerous allegations of sexual harassment, Filner needs to go.

"I think he should. I think he should. Of all people, Bob Filner knows what public life is like," Feinstein said. "He served time in the House. Being the mayor of a big city, you're a role model for people. You're either inspirational to people or you aren't."

"It's a very tough job, and I don't think that somebody who is lacking a moral compass really sets a role model or really will provide the kind of leadership that San Diegans want," Feinstein added. "This is up to them. This kind of absence of a moral compass is subject to recall. I suspect there will be recalls, and the people will judge."

Meanwhile, Filner's promise to get therapy has left his accusers unimpressed.

Four high-profile women, who came forward this week with allegations that Filner improperly touched and kissed them, said in a joint statement today they still believe he should resign.

Retired Rear Admiral Ronne Froman, San Diego State University Dean Joyce Gattas, business woman Patti Roscoe and Sharon Bernie-Cloward --head of the Port Tenants Association -- said despite the mayor's words and demeanor, they believe he must leave the city "to heal from his destructive behavior and abuse of power."

"To think that two weeks of therapy will overcome years of predatory conduct is delusional." the women said in the statement. "It is past time for him to stop thinking about Bob Filner and start thinking about what is best for San Diego. We stand behind our call for him to resign."

They and Feinstein join a growing chorus of political voices -- many of them members of Filner's own Democratic Party -- who say he needs to step down now. That includes San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria, Sen. Barbara Boxer, Rep. Susan Davis and Rep Scott Peters.

Filner said in a statement on Friday that he apologizes for intimidating and berating women, that his behavior has been "inexcusable and indefensible" and that after he emerges from a two-week stint in counseling he hopes to be a better person and better mayor.

The counseling program, during which Filner will continue to get daily briefings on city business, is to commence on Aug. 5.

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