Bob Filner accusers say his guilty plea is vindication

Bob Filner's guilty plea caught many by surprise, including some of the women who have accused him of sexual harassment.

"It threw me completely off guard," said Peggy Shannon. "I never thought he'd do that … I thought he'd fight it to the end."

Another accuser, Emily Gilbert, exclaimed, "Yes!"

It was a different feeling in late August. Filner's accusers shook their head in dismay as Filner resigned, saying he was victim of a lynch mob mentality.

"I have never sexually harassed anybody," said Filner during his farewell speech.

More than a month later, there was an apparent change of heart in the form of an indictment and guilty plea.

Shannon, who works at City Hall, said Filner kissed her on the mouth and repeatedly harassed her. She calls the guilty plea a good surprise.

"It really vindicates all us women who said, 'Yes, he really did do this,'" she said.

Gilbert, a Marilyn Monroe impersonator, says Filner touched her backside during a fundraiser. 10News asked her about the plea deal and the lack of jail time.

"I feel uneasy about that," said Gilbert.

She believes Filner could have used some time behind bars to think.

"He doesn't seem to show any remorse," said Gilbert.

But Gilbert and the other accusers 10News spoke with say they are pleased with the deal because he will not be allowed to run for office.

Another accuser, retired Navy Rear Adm. Ronne Froman, believes he may have attempted a comeback.

"If he had risen back again, that would have been crazier than what we've been through the last couple of months … At least he’s admitted to it. That brings closure to it," said Froman.

Others say the plea deal is fitting because denying Filner any future elections is a painful punishment.

"Other than the pocket book, I think that will hurt him more than anything," said Shannon.

Shannon, Gilbert and Froman were not among the Jane Does included in the indictment.


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