San Diego Mayor Bob Filner acknowledged on Thursday he “failed to fully respect” his female employees and promised to participate in sexual harassment training. The Democratic mayor, however, stopped short of saying he would resign from office.
Three political allies of Filner this week accused the 70-year-old mayor of sexually harassing multiple women. Former Councilwoman Donna Frye, environmental lawyer Marco Gonzalez and open government advocate Cory Briggs — who made the allegations public — also called on Filner to resign.
“When a friend like Donna Frye is compelled to call for my resignation, I’m clearly doing something wrong,” Filner said Thursday in a videotaped statement. “I have reached into my heart and soul and realized I must and will change my behavior.”
“As someone who has spent a lifetime fighting for equality for all people, I am embarrassed to admit that I have failed to fully respect the women who work for me and with me, and that at times I have intimidated them,” he continued.
Filner described his behavior as “inappropriate and wrong.” He said he needed professional help and would participate in sexual harassment training.
“You have every right to be disappointed in me. I only ask that you give me an opportunity to prove I am capable of change, so that the vision I have for our city’s future can be realized. Thank you,” the mayor concluded.
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube, below: