Filner to take leave of absence to seek therapy
by Dave Schwab
Published - 07/26/13 - 01:37 PM | 3113 views | 0 0 comments | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At a July 26 press conference, Mayor Bob Filner apologized to all San Diegans, in particular the women he has apparently offended, and said he would be taking a leave of absence from Aug. 5 to Aug. 12.

Filner said he will undergo intensive professional therapy to work through his “issues” with women to change his behavior in light of sexual-harassment allegations which have been leveled against him.

Filner’s public statement was not satisfactory to some City Councilmembers, however.

“Two weeks of therapy will not end decades of bad behavior,” said District 2 City Councilman Kevin Faulconer. “Bob Filner should leave to receive the help he obviously needs, but he shouldn’t take the office of the mayor and San Diego city government with him. He needs to resign and seek long-term treatment as a private citizen.”

District 6 Councilwoman Lorie Zapf, whom many believe may run for Faulconer’s seat when he terms out, agreed.

“At the end of the day, Mayor Filner continues to put his needs in front of the needs of his victims and the needs of citizens of San Diego. He is the mayor of the eighth largest city in the country and he must be held to a higher standard. By not stepping down, it is an insult to the victims, and an insult to women everywhere.”

A Democrat, Filner left Congress to become San Diego’s mayor last fall following a hard-fought and close campaign against Republican City Councilman Carl DeMaio.

Earlier this month, former City Councilwoman Donna Frye and two high-profile attorneys urged Filner to resign immediately, alleging sexual-harassment against him without immediately identifying female victims that they suggested were willing to come forward.

The first woman, Filner’s former communications director Irene McCormack Jackson, 57, represented by renowned civil-rights attorney Gloria Allred, announced July 22 that a sexual-harassment lawsuit was being filed against the mayor and the city of San Diego.

As of July 26, a total of seven women had emerged to allege Filner had acted inappropriately toward them, making physical contact and/or unwanted sexual advances.

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