SAN DIEGO – A former intern for embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner said he quit in protest after witnessing the mayor repeatedly “berate and belittle women in the office.”
Christopher Baker, the first male to charge Filner with sexual misconduct, made the accusation in a signed declaration to KPBS.
Baker, 23, alleges he saw Filner sexually harass a woman who asked for a picture with the mayor at news conference in La Jolla.
The ex intern said he heard Filner tell the woman she was beautiful and ask about her relationship status.
In his statement, Baker said he felt uncomfortable watching the exchange and confronted a member of Filner’s security detail about it.
“I … asked him about the seemingly inappropriate nature in which the Mayor was conducting himself,” Baker wrote.
“The officer responded ‘This is the hardest part of my job, watching him do this.’”
Baker said he quit because “it compromised my moral compass too much to continue working in that environment. It’s not how my father raised me to behave around women.”
Baker worked for director of communication Irene McCormack Jackson and press secretary Lena Lewis.
Jackson quit Filner’s office and filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him and the city.
Six other women also accused Filner of sexual misconduct, prompting many of his constituents and colleagues — including members of his own Democratic Party — to call for his resignation.
Among those calling for Filner to step down were Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California.
“I don’t think that somebody who is lacking a moral compass really sets a role model or really will provide the kind of leadership that San Diegans want,’ Feinstein told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.
At the news conference Friday, Filner gave no indication that he had any intention of resigning.