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San Diego Mayor Bob Filner Admits Sexual Harassment

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner issued a public apology Thursday for sexually harassing women, but refused to resign despite emotional pleas from former supporters to step down.

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SAN DIEGO, Calif. — An eighth woman stepped forward Tuesday with allegations of sexual misconduct against San Diego Mayor Bob Filner.

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Filner announced last Friday that he will undergo a two-week behavioral therapy treatment.

Lisa Curtin, an official at San Diego City College, told KPBS that Filner kissed her and put his tongue on her cheek. She said he insisted on asking her for a date even after she said she was married.

She said the encounter took place after a business meeting in 2011, when he was still a congressman.

“He pulled my hand closer to him and he reached over to kiss me,” Curtin told the station. “I turned my head at that moment and on the side of my face, I got a very wet, saliva-filled kiss including feeling his tongue on my cheek.”

After she left the meeting, she said she told her staff she never wanted to be in a room alone with him again.

Click here to read the full story on LATimes.com.

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Mayor Bob Filner

SAN DIEGO — Saying taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot the bill for the mayor’s “mess,” the San Diego City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night not to pay any of Bob Filner’s legal bills as he fights a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by one of his top aides.

The move came just hours after the council voted — also unanimously — to sue Filner to recover any costs imposed on the city by the lawsuit, which names both Filner and the city as defendants.

The city’s suit will seek to recover any damages ordered by a court, or agreed to as part of a pretrial settlement, arising from the lawsuit filed by the mayor’s former director of communications, Irene McCormack Jackson.

“Intimidating women is not in Mayor Filner’s job description,” said Councilman Kevin Faulconer. “His employers, the San Diego taxpayers, should not have to bail him out of the mess he’s created.”

Click here to read more on LATimes.com.

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.

SAN DIEGO (KTLA) — San Diego Mayor Bob Filner announced at a news conference Friday that he will  enter “a behavior counseling clinic for two weeks of intensive therapy” beginning Aug. 5.

“Let me be absolutely clear — the behavior I have engaged in over many years is wrong,” he said, adding that his “failure to respect women and the intimidating contact” he has engaged in is “inexcusable.”

Seven women have come forward to accuse Filner of sexual harassment, prompting many of his constituents and colleagues — including members of his own Democratic Party — to call for his resignation.

At the news conference Friday, he gave no indication that he had any intention of resigning.

SAN DIEGO — Three ex-supporters repeated their demand for Mayor Bob Filner to resign Monday and said he forcibly kissed two constituents and grabbed the buttocks and breast of a staff member.

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San Diego Mayor Bob Filner

Filner’s behavior toward women is so egregious that women who work for him call him a “dirty old man” and coined the phrases “the Filner headlock” and “the Filner dance” to describe how he isolates women and then makes unwanted advances, attorney Marco Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said a sexual harassment claim will be filed with city officials. Also, lawsuits are a possibility, he said.

“Bob Filner is tragically unsafe for any women to approach,” an angry ex-Councilwoman Donna Frye said at a news conference outside City Hall.

Click here to read the full story on LATimes.com.

SAN DIEGO (KTLA) — San Diego Mayor Bob Filner issued a public apology Thursday for sexually harassing women, but refused to resign despite emotional pleas from former supporters to step down.

In a videotaped statement, Filner acknowledged his actions were inappropriate and vowed to change his behavior.

“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,” Filner said.

In his statement, the mayor also admitted he needed help.  “I have begun to work with professionals to make changes in my behavior and approach. In addition, my staff and I will participate in sexual harassment training provided by the city.  Please know that I fully understand that only I am the one that can make these changes,” Filner said.

Filner’s admission came just hours after a news conference where friends and supporters called on him to resign for what one called “truly reprehensible” behavior toward women.

No details were released about the sexual harassment allegations made against Filner.

At the news conference, Former City Councilwoman Donna Frye and lawyers Marco Gonzalez and Cory Briggs said they were working with the women involved to determine how next to proceed.