I am happy to report the San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, who has been accused by 17 separate women of sexual harassment incidents, has announced his resignation.
The San Diego City Council voted 7-0 to accept Mayor Bob Filner’s resignation. Filner will step down on August 30. Two city council members abstained from the vote.
Todd Gloria, the Democratic City Council president, becomes acting mayor until a special election is held within 90 days after the resignation takes effect.
I mentioned that the last press conference held by Filner’s supporters in front of our City Hall bordered on the absurd. Filner’s resignation speech crossed that border and firmly occupied Absurd-land:
The Friday afternoon announcement capped off weeks of high drama as the accusations piled up against the 70-year-old former congressman, who was elected to lead San Diego in November. Filner apologized to the city for his “own personal failures,” chalking them up to “awkwardness and hubris,” and said that he had “no intention to be offensive” to women, even as he also claimed that he was the victim of a “lynch mob.”
“In a lynch mob mentality, rumors become allegations, allegations become facts, facts become evidence of sexual harassment, which have led to demands for my resignation and recall,” he said.
As we are poised to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s immortal “I Have a Dream” speech, it is extremely disturbing to have the banner of Civil Rights used to cover the perverted behavior of a self-serving politician. At no time during his lengthy resignation speech did Filner sound contrite or remorseful about the pain and anguish he has caused so many women.
Filner is right in one respect: The media is to blame for this travesty. However, only in the fact they failed to investigate on his aggressive behavior, which was known by members of the press for a very long time.
San Diego is still awaiting formal word on the details related to the deal between the City Council and Filner in exchange for this resignation. The local radio lines are full of citizens angered by the fact this resignation is likely to cost the taxpayers quite a bit.
Finally, Gloria Allred said the sexual harassment litigation filed on behalf of Irene McCormack Jackson against Filner and the city of San Diego was not settled. And that case has the potential to be very costly, too.
However, it is still gratifying that citizens were so willing to fight for his recall and so unwilling to let his excuses slide, that Filner has been forced to leave in disgrace.