Pressure intensifies on San Diego Mayor Bob Filner to resign(Read article summary)
Pete Wilson, a former San Diego mayor, has added his voice to those calling on Bob Filner to resign as a recall effort gets under way Sunday. Filner shows no signs of leaving office despite disgrace.
The pressure on San Diego Mayor Bob Filner to resign just keeps getting more intense.
Peggy Shannon, a volunteer city worker who assists senior citizens, said Thursday that Mayor FilnerÂ â€“ already accused by more than a dozen women of inappropriate conduct â€“ repeatedly asked her to rub his hands, requested dates, and made sexually suggestive comments so upsetting she went home and cried.
Meanwhile, the list of prominent officials calling on Filner to step down continues to grow.
â€śIt has been all consuming, and I have no idea whether weâ€™ve seen the last of it yet,â€ť Mr. Wilson told U-T San Diego (the newspaper formerly known as the San Diego Union-Tribune) earlier this week. â€śHe has not brought any credit to himself or his office. I think the people of San Diego deserve a better representative.â€ť
House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D) of California, who had called Filnerâ€™s behavior toward women â€śreprehensible,â€ť now says her fellow Democrat should resign.
â€śMayor Filner is out of rehab, he should be out of the Mayorâ€™s office â€“ should not subject San Diegans to pain & expense of a recall,â€ť the San Francisco Democrat tweeted Thursday.
Among others who have told Filner he should resign are Californiaâ€™s two Democratic US senators (Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer), all nine members of the San Diego City Council, and both theÂ Democratic Party ofÂ San DiegoÂ and Democratic National Committee Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a US representative from Florida.
In a public apology last month, Filner conceded that his conduct had been â€śinappropriate and wrong.â€ť
â€śYou have every right to be disappointed in me,â€ť he said in his videotaped apology. â€śI only ask that you give me an opportunity to prove I am capable of change.â€ťÂ
He entered what he called two weeks of â€śintensive therapy,â€ť but he has made no public comment since that ended last weekend.
Whether or not Filnerâ€™s therapy will have a positive, lasting effect on the mayorâ€™s attitude and behavior toward women, critics say it's way past time to allow for any capability for change.
At a â€śFreedom from Filnerâ€ť rally at City Hall on Sunday, organizers of a recall effort will begin gathering the 101,597 signatures needed for a ballot measure that could oust Filner from office. They have 39 days (with a possible extension of 30 days) to do so.
Through his lawyers, Filner on Monday issued a statement in response to the recall stating, â€śAs your Mayor, I am committed to moving San Diego forward!â€ť
But if Filner continues to hang on, a formal recall may not be necessary to oust him.
Federal, state, and local investigators have been gathering information and building cases against Filner for financial issues, U-T San Diego reports.
â€śFilner has been under scrutiny for a number of questionable financial moves including an unannounced June trip to France, civic donations from developers related to certain projects and, most recently, his use of a city-issued credit card,â€ť the newspaper reported. â€śRecords released Thursday related to the credit card charges racked up by Filner and his assistant show he failed to submit proper documentation to allow the city to pay off the card and that put the cityâ€™s credit rating at risk.â€ť
In a memo this week, City Attorney Jan GoldsmithÂ said the City Council could ask a judge to remove the mayor from office under the city charter if he â€świllfully approves or allows unauthorized payments from the city treasury.â€ť
This report includes material from the Associated Press.