Embattled mayor plans to enter residential counseling, but will be briefed on city business
By Craig Gustafs
July 26, 2013 – 12:06 p.m./Updated 4:19 p.m.
SAN DIEGO — San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, who has been dogged by calls for his resignation over sexual harassment allegations, called his treatment of women “inexcusable” Friday and said he would undergo two weeks of intensive behavioral therapy but not relinquish power.
“I must become a better person,” Filner said in a statement read before a throng of reporters. “And my hope is that by becoming a better person, I put myself in a position to someday be forgiven. However, before I can even think of asking for forgiveness, I need to demonstrate that my behavior has changed. And that will only happen over time and only if such incidents never, ever happen again.”
Filner, the city’s first Democratic mayor in 20 years, has been under siege for two weeks but the scandal intensified in recent days as seven women stepped forward with accusations that he made unwanted sexual advances, including kisses, groping and derogatory comments.
The bad news kept coming for Filner throughout Friday as a formal effort to recall him began, the head of the Democratic National Committee called for him to step down, he was served with a subpoena in a sexual harassment lawsuit and a former male intern corroborated stories of Filner’s inappropriate behavior toward women.
It has been a stunning implosion for the longtime politician who presented himself to voters as a progressive champion of the disenfranchised but now stands accused of using his authority to repeatedly demean and abuse women.
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