San Diego Mayor Bob Filner asked to resign from office

Letter cites sex harassment claims against mayor

SAN DIEGO - A former San Diego city councilwoman said she has "credible evidence of more than one woman being sexually harassed" by Mayor Bob Filner and asked him to resign.

In a letter obtained by Team 10, former City Councilwoman Donna Frye writes "how anguishing it is to ask that you now vacate the office."

Filner appointed Frye to ensure open government and transparency. She resigned in April. Frye's letter is one of three that came to light on Wednesday, asking the mayor to resign.

Frye's letter goes on to say, "… those who have spoken to me recently would not make the allegations lightly or without cause and I believe them."

Frye does not name anyone who makes these allegations. She writes in the letter that those she said she talked to fear retribution or the possibility of a "media circus where they could be twice victimized."

Click here to read Frye's complete letter

Another letter sent to Filner asking for his resignation was sent by Marco Gonzalez, brother of state Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez.

In his letter, Gonzalez writes, "At our recent meeting, I was under the impression that you understood the gravity of the circumstances surrounding your treatment of staff, and in particular, the women who work for you in the Office of the Mayor."

His letter also states, "We cannot sit idly by and watch your inexcusable behavior continue. What we would not accept of our enemies, we cannot condone of our friends."

Click here to read Gonzalez's complete letter

An attorney who works for a public advocacy group also has asked Filner to resign.

Cory Briggs is the attorney for San Diegans for Open Government, and a former Filner supporter. He sent a memo via fax to the mayor's office.

It reads in part, "I have offered your office input on how to navigate the legal and ethical labyrinth at City Hall ... Too often, however, your office has been unreceptive -- occasionally even dismissive -- of that input."

Mayor Filner ran for office on a platform of transparency, but has not been forthcoming with information on a number of topics with Team 10, including his recent trip to Paris, a restaurant redevelopment, and a $100,000 donation to the city. Sources tell Team 10 the Department of Justice is investigating that donation, which the mayor returned.

The letter also states, "My request that you step down is made reluctantly. I share many of your views about what's wrong with the city ... But your transgressions of core, non-partisan principles of governance are likely to cause long-term damage to the movement to clean up City Hall."

Click here to read Briggs' complete letter

Team 10 is trying to reach Mayor Filner for comment.

City Councilman Kevin Faulconer released this statement regarding the allegations against Filner:

"It saddens me that the City of San Diego is crumbling under Mayor Filner's scandals, including these most recent sexual misconduct allegations. These allegations are very serious and Bob Filner owes the public a full explanation."

Carl DeMaio, former councilman and Filner's opponent in last November's mayoral race, issued this statement:

"As much as the outcome of the November election disappointed me, I had hoped that Bob would have been a good Mayor - and urged my supporters to give him time and be open to supporting and helping him.

Sadly, the evidence is mounting that Bob Filner is simply incapable of leading our city.

Bob Filner has bought such strife and turmoil to City Hall that we are seeing important issues that matter most to San Diegans being pushed to the side. This is no way to govern a city - San Diego deserves better.

I appreciate the emails and calls! I want you to know I'm listening! I'm discussing several ideas with supporters and civic leaders on how we can best help stabilize the situation and help our city move past this chaos. As soon as we have a plan of action, I'll re-connect with you."

Francine Busby, the head of the San Diego County Democratic Party, released the following statement:

"The San Diego County Democratic Party has learned today about harassment claims involving Mayor Bob Filner. I take allegations of sexual harassment very seriously, as does the Democratic Party.

The information currently available about these claims is not specific, and key questions remain to be answered both by Mayor Filner and those leveling these charges.

In the meantime, we join other San Diegans in seeking more details and awaiting the Mayor's response."


A news conference is scheduled by Frye, Gonzalez and Briggs Thursday at 10:00 a.m. Team 10 and 10news.com will update developments as they happen.
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