In my last report on San Diego mayor Bob Filner, I noted that he brought Washington, D.C.’s sense of teamwork and fair play with him.
At that time, Filner crashed a press conference held by City Attorney Jan Goldsmith responding to the mayor’s call for a new tourism marketing deal.
Now, it looks like Filner also brought D.C.’s sense of sexual ethics with him! In the wake of sexual harassment claims soon to be filed, Filner is under enormous pressure to resign.
Former supporters of Mayor Bob Filner, who are demanding for his resignation, held a second press conference Monday morning, this time outlining some of the alleged sexual harassment claims against the mayor.
Former councilwoman Donna Frye read aloud some of the victim’s claims. According to Frye, one victim was asked out by the mayor during a meeting with the mayor and she turned him down. Seconds later, Frye says the mayor asked the victim to kiss him and again she refused his advances, however the victim alleges the mayor grabbed her and kissed her seconds later.
Frye also spoke of a second victim who volunteered on his campaign. She said during a meeting in a public place the victim alleges the mayor grabbed her and “rammed his tongue down her throat.” The victim alleges she felt awkward and tried to remedy the situation. The mayor allegedly got into her car and tried to kiss her again and this time stuck his hand under her bra.
Ironically, it looks like the City Attorney is now in the unenviable position of having to defend Mayor Filner.
During the press conference, Marco Gonzalez (attorney for one of the plaintiffs who have worked with or for the mayor) described one of Filner’s harassment techniques: The Filner Headlock. It starts when a Filner sees a “woman the mayor would like to like sequester and have a conversation with”; he then grabs her shoulders and moves closer for the discussion. The chat devolves into something highly sexually suggestive.
Gonzalez also depicted the “Filner Dance“: “For whatever reason, the Mayor feels it is within his prerogative to ask a woman for a kiss”. Then, as the Filner goes in for one, the woman begins evasive maneuvers to avoid the clearly unwanted advances.
Filner takes a real droit du seigneur approach to city governance. When one woman told the Mayor to leave her office during a “dance”, Filner responded, “I am the Mayor, you can’t kick me out of any office”.
San Diego voters may make a go of it, anyway. The above press conference was led by Donna Frye, a long-time San Diego Democratic Party luminary. Other Democrats calling for his resignation include Councilman David Alvarez, Congresswoman Susan Davis, City Council President Todd Gloria and Filner’s former fiancee Bronwyn Ingram. So, there is plenty of bipartisan support for his ouster. Additionally, there is a movement to recall Filner, with an associated Facebook page. A recall rally is scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday outside City Hall.
But those of us who have watched Filner’s antics for years suspect he is not going to go quickly, quietly, or easily. As a matter of fact, Filner has point-blank refused to resign. So, it looks like San Diego is poised for another round of mayoral electoral drama (i.e., our 2005 election).
Ultimately, the citizens of San Diego may pay a heavy price for electing Filner. Gonzalez notes that the Mayor’s public apology already contains a clear admission of guilt in the following statement: “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.” While Gonzalez said his client will file a sexual harassment claim, decisions of whether to file lawsuits have not yet been made.
Truly, Filner has given the term “sequester” a whole new meaning. America’s Finest City has the country’s slimiest major.