San Diego Mayor Bob Filner announced he will take undergo intensive therapy for two weeks following several allegations of inappropriate sexual advances and sexual harassment.
In front of a reporters and cameras, Filner announced "words are not enough" before a microphone failure interrupted the long-awaited statement.
“It is simply not acceptable for me to try and explain away my conduct as the product of standards of a different generation,” Filner said adding that he has apologized to his staff and citizens who have supported him.
“Most of all I apologize to the women I have offended,” he said.
Filner said on Aug. 5 he will enter a behavioral counseling clinic to address his behavior.
He called it a first step in a continuing program that will involve ongoing regular counseling. "I must become a better person," Filner said.
Filner said he planned to stay updated throughout his rehab with morning and evening updates and will return to the job on August 19.
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On Thursday, an interview with four San Diego women brought new allegations to light. With their stories, Sharon Bernie-Cloward, president of the San Diego Port Tenants Association, businesswoman Patti Roscoe, retired Navy rear-admiral Veronica "Ronne" Froman and Joyce Gattas, Dean of SDSU's College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts described incidents with the mayor ranging from his time as a Congressman to his run for San Diego's mayor's seat.
The women claimed Filner cornered or isolated them and attempted to kiss them or touch parts of their bodies inappropriately.
The new allegations are in addition to those already made public by political consultant Laura Fink, San Diego Unified School District psychologist Morgan Rose and former communications director Irene McCormack Jackson.
McCormack Jackson has filed a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment for comments she said Filner made during her six months on his senior staff. She has accused the mayor of repeatedly asking for a kiss and for sex as well as suggesting she would do a better job if she worked without underwear.
Fink alleges that Filner grabbed her buttocks when she was working on a campaign. Rose claims Filner blocked her from leaving while attempting to kiss her during a private meeting.
On Thursday night, San Diego County Democrats voted to ask Filner to step down.
The Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz has also called for the mayor to resign.
"The misconduct Mayor Bob Filner has been accused of is reprehensible and indefensible. I am personally offended by his actions and I firmly believe no employee should face a hostile environment or harassment at their place of employment. There is no place for this type of conduct in the workplace and certainly not in our city halls and public offices. For the good of the City of San Diego, I call on Mayor Filner to resign."
First published July 26 2013, 12:41 PM