Former supporters of San Diego Mayor Bob Filner renewed their call for his resignation Monday, July 15, detailing sexual harassment claims against him, which include jamming his tongue down a woman's throat, putting his hand inside her bra and telling another she would do better work without panties on.
Former Councilwoman Donna Frye alleged that a pattern of behavior had emerged that included questioning a woman's relationship status, isolating her, asking for a later meeting, making sexual comments and "physically imposing himself upon her."
"Bob Filner is tragically unsafe for any woman to approach, and again we call on the mayor to resign and we want the women of this city and the people who love them to know that sexual abuse and this behavior is not normal, not their fault and they are not to blame — Bob Filner is to blame," Frye said.
Filner did not respond directly to the allegations made by Frye and two attorneys at a news conference. But Monday morning, in announcing staff changes and reiterating that he has no plans to step down, he released a statement saying that as the city's elected mayor, "I fully expect to be accountable to the citizens of San Diego for all of my actions."
"As a citizen of this country, I also expect — and am entitled to — due process, and the opportunity to respond in a fair and impartial venue to specific allegations. I do not believe I am guilty of sexual harassment, and I believe a full presentation of the facts will vindicate me,'' Filner said.
Frye said one woman has alleged that during a meeting, Filner sent a staffer away and then inquired whether she was single and asked for a date and if he could kiss her. Without waiting for a response, he allegedly grabbed her and kissed her, according to Frye, who said the woman pulled away and left.
Another woman who met with the mayor in a public location alleges that he called her beautiful, asked to kiss her, then "suddenly, and in clear view of anyone who might pass by, grabbed and kissed her — jamming his tongue down her throat,'' Frye said.
As the woman gave Filner a ride home, he "had his hand on the inside of her bra and was again trying to put his tongue down her throat,'' Frye alleged.
Frye, along with attorneys Marco Gonzalez and Cory Briggs, reiterated their calls for Filner to resign immediately.
According to Gonzalez, an employee of the mayor's office alleges that Filner "grabbed her ass and touched her chest," and says she witnessed the mayor try to kiss another employee and make rude comments.
"There is no circumstance that it would be appropriate for the mayor to enter into an elevator with my client or any person who he employs and to tell them that they would do a better job on that floor if they worked without their panties on,'' Gonzalez said.