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San Diego Mayor Admits Sexual Harassment, Refuses to Step Down

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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.

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