San Diego Mayor Bob Filner (D) was urged to resign this weekend by his ex-fiancee, who told a reporter on Sunday that their relationship ended when he began sending sexually explicit text messages to other women in front of her.
Despite the continually mounting allegations of inappropriate behavior, and the threat of a lawsuit expected any day now, Filner announced on Monday morning that he’s still determined to hold onto his public office.
“As your elected mayor, I fully expect to be accountable to the citizens of San Diego for all of my actions,” he said in a prepared statement issued to NBC San Diego through a spokesperson. “But as a citizen of this country, I also expect – and am entitled to – due process, and the opportunity to respond in a fair and impartial venue to specific allegations.”
Although Filner appears determined to face his accusers in court, his ex-fiancee Bronwyn Ingram told KPBS on Sunday that she’s convinced he should resign. Ingram explained that Filner’s behavior has become unpredictable and erratic of late, and that she broke off their relationship after he began sending sexually explicit text messages to other women in front of her.
Bronwyn was introduced by Filner as “the First Lady of San Diego” during his first press conference as mayor last November, KPBS noted. “The mayor’s office is now paralyzed, engaging only in defensive posturing,” she told the station. “The work of the people and for the people has ceased. I therefore urge Bob to put the best interest of the people of San Diego first and submit his resignation.”
Attorneys for the women held a press conference Monday and read aloud several of the allegations, claiming that Filner even harassed constituents, kissing women without consent and even groping one woman’s breasts under her shirt without warning.
The group also described several of the mayor’s allegedly characteristic “moves” — such as “the Filner Dance,” where women would try to avoid kissing him, but the mayor gets his way anyhow; and “the Filner headlock,” where the mayor would grab a woman around the neck and pretend he needed to speak with her alone — saying the harassing behavior was made out to be something of a cutesy shtick around the office and a regular occurrence.
“Bob Filner is tragically unsafe for any woman to approach,” former San Diego City Councilmember Donna Frye said at Monday’s press conference. “This behavior is not normal… Bob Filner is to blame and he needs to resign.”
Frye and attorneys Marco Gonzalez and Cory Briggs said they may file a lawsuit on behalf of the as-yet-unidentified victims soon if the mayor does not step down.
This video is from NBC San Diego, broadcast Monday, July 15, 2013.
[Embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner at a Board of Port Commissioners meeting in January, 2013. Photo: Flickr user Port of San Diego, creative commons licensed.]
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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