Council Vote of 7-0 Forces San Diego Mayor Bob Filner to Resign Over Sexual Harassment Charges (VIDEOS)
By Vittorio Hernandez | August 25, 2013 12:35 AM EST
Bob Filner will resign on Friday, Aug 30, as mayor of San Diego, California. He was actually forced to leave office after less than nine months on the job when the city council, in a 7-0 vote, pressured him to step down over sexual harassment complaints.
Although he said sorry to his accusers, Mr Filner stressed he is not guilty of sexual harassment but is a victim of a lynch mob. "The city should not have to go through this, and my own personal failures were responsible and I apologize to the city," The Washington Post quoted Mr Filner.
Eighteen females complained that they received unwelcome advances such as touching, kissing and lewd comments from the mayor. Mr Filner insisted he had no intention to be offensive or to violate these women physically or intrude into their personal space.
"I was trying to establish personal relationships but the combination of awkwardness and hubris led to behavior that I think many found offensive," he explained.
Among those who filed the lawsuit was Mr Filner's former communications director. However, even if he will quit his post by the end of August, San Diego will stay pay his legal fees and any settlement cost, except for punitive damages. It would also shoulder another $98,000 if the outgoing mayor opts to get his own legal defense team.
Bronwyn Ingram, his former fiancée who cut her relationship with the 70-year-old mayor just before the sexual harassment accusations came up, also sought his resignation.
Despite the bad ending to their relationship, Mr Filner apologised to her, saying, "I love you very much. You came to love San Diego so much as I did and you did memorable things in the short time that you were first lady."
At his age, Mr Filner appears to be still hot with women of various ages since the complainants include a great-grandmother and a retired Navy admiral, Veronica Froman, who said the mayor blocked her from leaving a room, place his hand on her face and asked if she had a man in her life.
Sharon Bernie-Cloward, president of the city port tenants' association, told BBC that Mr Filner touched her buttocks at an event in 2012. Other alleged victims of the mayor include businesswomen and a college dean.
When Mr Filner steps down on Friday, City Council President Todd Gloria will become acting mayor and a special election will be held within 90 days.
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