San Diego Mayor Bob Filner announced today he will take a break from his duties and seek counseling for his behavior, which has prompted at least seven women to come forward and say that he groped or kissed them inappropriately.
And Filner’s own Democratic Party has asked him to resign.
Filner’s response? He’ll “let it play out in court.”
Earlier, San Diego Republicans suggested he adopt a course of action that would remove him from the public eye.
“Democrats have failed to protect the women of San Diego that continue to be in danger of new harassment and retaliation for speaking up against unwanted sexual advances,” said the executive director of the San Diego Republican Party, Francis Barraza.
“As a woman, I am horrified not only at the tales coming out of the mayor’s office, but the admissions of leaders in the Democratic Party that they knew about Bob Filner’s behavior all along.
“This should not be a partisan issue and the Democratic Party should not be protecting someone who has been called ‘tragically unsafe for any woman to approach’… and San Diego deserves better,” Barraza concluded.
In a news conference today, Filner confess his “behavior is wrong.”
“It is not acceptable for me to explain away my conduct” as a matter of being a member “of a different generation,” he said.
He apologized to many.
“On August 5th-19th I will enter a behavior counseling clinic. … This intensive counseling will be the first step in what will be a continuing program. … I must become a better person. Before I even think of asking for forgiveness, I need to demonstrate that my behavior has changed.”
While in therapy, he will be briefed in the morning and night regarding San Diego city business.
He refused to answer any questions regarding his own party and campaign workers asking him to resign.
Former congressman Anthony Weiner, now running for mayor of New York City, has confessed to “sexting” with 10 women, up from the six for which he previously asked voters for forgiveness.
The behavior has many asking how these men get away with victimizing women and young girls for so long, protected by those who should be holding them accountable.
Pastor Jim Garlow, senior pastor of Skyline Church in San Diego, Calif., said that people have trouble articulating offenses because political correctness is out of control. He says it has undermined the Judeo-Christian values that gave perspective to behavior like with Filner’s and enabled people to call out right and wrong.
“Once you throw out the objective standard, it’s a ‘free for all’ with no bounds or moral compass,” Garlow said. “They have dismissed biblical authority, so this is sexual anarchy and sexual chaos because we have no objective standard.
“Basic common decency is not attainable when a culture disregards its very foundation,” he said.
Garlow said that both parties have made such a radical departure from virtue and morality that when something arises like the situation with Filner, Elliot Spitzer or Weiner, the nation’s vernacular is too limited to articulate what is wrong.
Garlow calls on religious leaders to state the truth unequivocally and help establish a moral compass in the hearts of citizens.
“Otherwise,” he warns, “there will be a lot more Filners where this one came from, and nobody will know what to do about it. You have to be able to identify right and wrong, and you can’t if there is no foundational morality.”
WND previously reported Filner has admitted improprieties that include sexting and sexual harassment. He reportedly has been corrupt with city business and is considered by most to be incapable of presiding as mayor under the current ircumstances.
His former fiancée has said it’s time for him to take a hike.
See how politicians confess to misbehavior:
Among those who say he should go is Rep. Susan Davis, D-Calif., who served with Filner in Congress. The San Diego Union-Tribune quoted her saying the mayor should step down because of his “incomprehensible and unacceptable behavior.”
Over the weekend, the mayor’s former fiancée called for his resignation. Bronwyn Ingram told KPBS radio that she ended their relationship because he started to send sexually explicit text messages to women in front of her.
Filner, a former congressman, narrowly won his seat in November in a campaign that included a TV ad by his opponent featuring a woman claiming he had assaulted her in an airport.
The woman worked in the lost luggage department at Dulles airport, near Washington, D.C. Filner was ultimately charged with assault but pleaded no contest to a lesser charge of trespassing. According to the woman, when he attacked her over lost luggage, he said, “You can’t stop me.” She said his actions were “scary and hostile.”
In addition to the airport incident, a 2003 U.S. Justice memo quotes Filner regarding another assault accusation.
This incident happened in an El Centro, Calif., immigration detention center, and some of the story sounds familiar. The accusation is that in a dispute about a deportation, he was asked to leave the center. The officer there said the congressman responded: “I am a congressman. I can do whatever I want.”
A U.S. House ethics committee did not take action but noted that Filner “exhibited poor judgment.”
While Filner was suspected of misbehaving before his election, sources are saying his latest actions smack of pay-to-play, punishment of enemies and richly rewarding friends.
He reportedly has a record of keeping campaign donations close to home. Before his divorce, his then-wife was paid more than half a million dollars to “consult” on his campaigns, reports said, although she was not a registered consultant and had no other clients.
In June, Filner used his tax-funded bodyguard to remove the No. 2 official from the city attorney’s office from a closed meeting. The Democratic city council president called the move “wrong.” Another council member, Scott Sherman said, “When Bob’s in a bad mood, he looks for someone to attack.”
The lawyer who was removed, Andrew Jones said: “This was shocking. … I am the first African American to ever hold a position this high in the city attorney’s office. I had not said a word, he attacked me with no provocation.”
When asked if it was a particularly bad day for the mayor, Jones responded: “It’s one thing to have a bad day, it’s another … to use the power of the police department to remove me from that office … it is another thing to use the authority of the mayor’s office unlawfully and inappropriately. That’s not a bad day. That’s a violation of the law, and it goes far beyond the pale of (what) any decent human being would expect.”
Filner is also under a DOJ investigation, dated July 6, for an alleged “pay to play” scheme. Reportedly he demanded $100,000 donation from Sunroad Enterprises Development to reverse his veto of a council-approved land use permit.
His response to the charges? “People who get things from the city understand that they have to give things back.”
He later returned the money, and some say it’s the smoking gun in the investigation.