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Two Women Say Filner Sexually Harassed Them

Two Women Say Filner Sexually Harassed Them

One of the women told her story to KOGO media partner 10News on the condition that her name and specific details of what happened not be made public.

The woman said Mayor Filner had inappropriately touched her behind closed doors, with no one else in the room.  10News reports the woman gave them a detailed account of what happened, but asked that the details would not be published.

She said the mayor did this to many women, and many people knew about it. “It’s one of the worst kept secrets in town,” Woman One said. "Everyone in the power structure knew this,” she said of people in local government.

The second un-named woman sent an email to the San Diego Reader. The website posted several paragraphs detailing the woman's account of what happened with the mayor behind closed doors.

"...He told me that he thought I was a very attractive woman and asked if I would go out with him. I thought he was making a joke and told him that I knew he had a very attractive fiancée. He then repeated that he would like to go out with me. He never acknowledged my comment about his fiancée. He then said he would like to kiss me. I did not acknowledge him. He leaned over and kissed me anyway. I got up and left.”

On Friday, July 12, Mayor Filner sent out a news release and in it, he said he was innocent of sexual harassment allegations.  "I am confident that a fair and independent investigation will support my innocence with respect to any charges of sexual harassment," the mayor's statement reads.

Filner has never admitted guilt to those claims -- he had only said he was guilty of intimidating women he worked with in the past in the DVD released earlier this week.

Here is the full release sent July 12th from the mayor's spokeswoman.

"Consistent with the email sent to all employees yesterday by the Human Resources Department, the City’s EEO Policy was established to ensure that all City employees, contract workers, and volunteers are aware of their rights and responsibilities, and that the workplace is free from discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation in any form.

If a claim is made, the City has a 100% response policy. The City will respond, and take necessary steps to investigate reports of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation made in the workplace and will take appropriate action.

I am committed to ensuring a full, complete and independent investigation in response to any formal complaint against me. To ensure the independence of an investigation, all complaints will be referred to the City’s Equal Opportunity Investigative Office (EEIO) which does not report to me. If there are concerns related to the City conducting the investigation, I will authorize the use of an outside independent investigator.

While I stand by my comments and pledge of yesterday to make changes to improve the workplace environment in my office, I am confident that a fair and independent investigation will support my innocence with respect to any charges of sexual harassment."

Meantime, Filner's ex-fiancee. who announced on July 8th that she had broken off their engagement, now also has called on Filner to resign. In a statement issued Monday, Bronwyn Ingram said:

"While I had heard rumors that he was engaging in sexual relationships with other women, I was never able to determine their validity," Ingram said. "... However, as Bob's behavior continued to become more aggressive, standard decorum seemed to disappear. Bob recently began texting other women sexually explicit messages and setting up dates while in my presence and within my line of vision."

Earlier on July 12th, Filner's chief of staff, Vince Hall, suddenly resigned saying in a tweet, "As a lifelong activist for women’s rights and equality, I feel I must resign effective today."

On the same day. City Council President Todd Gloria as well as State Assembly members Toni Atkins and Lorena Gonzalez, all Democrats like Filner, called on the mayor to step down. They join three former supporters of Mayor Bob Filner who repeatedly called for him to resign this week amid sexual harassment allegations are standing by their demands Friday in spite of an apology the mayor released via video, according to one ex-supporter.

Attorney Marco Gonzalez said via Twitter that he, ex-Councilwoman Donna Frye and attorney Cory Briggs "stand by (their) original demand, video notwithstanding." He said additional information would be provided next week.

In a statement released on DVD on July 11th, Filner offered an apology for his recent behavior. 

In his statement, Filner said, in part, "I begin today by apologizing ... I must and will change my behavior ..."

The mayor acknowledged that the charges against him "are serious," and said he would be participating in sexual harassment training. He also asked that he be given a chance to prove he could change.

CLICK HERE to read Mayor Filner's entire statement.

Former San Diego City council member Donna Frye and two other past supporters of the mayor had earlier sent letters to Filner urging him to step down and then held a news conference on July 11th

 

 


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Poll: Do you think Mayor Bob Filner will resign?
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Just days after his fiancee announced that she was ending her engagement with Mayor Bob Filner, former San Diego city councilwoman Donna Frye told the news conference that she has credible evidence of more than one woman being sexually harassed by Mayor Bob Filner and, at times fighting back tears, called on Filner to resign.

Filner had appointed Frye to ensure open government and transparency. She resigned in April. Frye did not name the women wno have made the allegations, but Frye said she believes them and knows it's true.

Click here to read letter Frye sent to Filner's office.

Also at the news conference was environmentalist attorney Marco Gonzalez who is the brother of state Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez. He also called on Filner Thursday to step aside.

Gonzalez confirmed that he did meet with Filner but said he was not satisfied with the Mayor's response to what he called Filner's inexcusable behavior involving sexual harrassment. He said he and the others were there at the news conference to speak for the women who claim they were harrassed.

An attorney who works for a public advocacy group also was at the news conference and also asked Filner to resign.  Cory Briggs is the attorney for San Diegans for Open Government, and a former Filner supporter. 

There was quick reaction to the news conference, From City Council Todd Gloria, came this statement:

Council President Todd Gloria today issued the following statement.

“Sexual harassment is a serious matter, and these allegations deserve a response. San Diegans need to hear from the Mayor soon.

“People must be treated with respect and are right to expect a workplace that is free of harassment and intimidation. I offer my assurance to any person who may have been harassed that their claims will not be discounted should they come forward.  All applicable administrative and legal protocols will be followed by the City.

“While this matter continues to unfold, my City Council colleagues and I will remain focused doing the people’s business and running an efficient and effective municipal government.”


 

 

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