Women veterans group explains reason for inviting mayor to be keynote speaker at benefit

SAN DIEGO - A group that stripped San Diego Mayor Bob Filner of an award for his work with women veterans is explaining why they are still inviting the embattled mayor to speak at their event.

As 10News first reported earlier this week, Filner will not be getting the lifetime leadership award recognizing his work on behalf of military women, which includes the issue of sexual assault.

"After the video was released stating that he felt that he had some inappropriate behavior, that was the reason why we decided not to give him that honoring award at this time," said Tara Jones, the president of the National Military Women Veterans Association of America, during a news conference on Saturday.

Jones said Filner will still be the keynote speaker at the group's benefit in August, which brings attention to sexual assault and harassment against military women.

She said that is exactly where she wants the mayor to be.

"We chose to have him be the keynote speaker, and make no mistake, coming before rape survivors … that's exactly where we would like him to be," Jones said. "If he is sincere, we would be able to know."

10News found Filner at an event in La Jolla benefitting the Braille Institute of America on Saturday morning.

The mayor avoided the sexual harassment scandal; posing for photos, talking with the public and avoiding 10News cameras, leaving more questions about how the mayor's speech on injustices against women will help or hurt him.

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