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Bob Filner

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is facing a firestorm of criticism after several accusations from 10 women about sexual harassment.

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SAN DIEGO (KSWB) —

A San Diego lawyer released a computer-generated video reenactment Wednesday of former Mayor Bob Filner placing a long-time city employee in a so-called “Filner headlock” and said he planned to introduce it as evidence in a harassment lawsuit.

Daniel Gilleon said the two-minute video is an accurate depiction of an encounter that his client, Stacy McKenzie, had with Filner at the Clairemont Day at the Bay event at Mission Bay on April 21.

The video shows McKenzie introducing herself the mayor, who asks her if she is married or has a boyfriend. She says no, and he then asks her for her business card and tells her he wants to take her out to lunch.

“Just to make this clear, this is not a business lunch. This is a date. I’m asking you out on a date,” the animated mayor says in the video.

Later, as McKenzie retells the story to some colleagues, the Filner character comes up from behind and puts his arm around her head. “I’m thinking of making her employee of the day,” he says. “Just so you know, I like to get really close to my city employees.”

The Filner character says, “Stacy, you are turning really red.”

“You are really embarrassing me,” the McKenzie character says, and the Filner character lets out a sinister cackle.

Gilleon said he planned to file a lawsuit for $500,000 against the mayor and the city Wednesday afternoon. He said he planned to show the animation to the jury, although he expected Filner’s defense team to fight it.

Continue reading on FOX40′s sister site, FOX5SanDiego.com and watch the full video below.

Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner speaks

Image of Filner courtesy: CNN

SAN DIEGO (CNN)-

Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony false imprisonment and two misdemeanor battery charges for his behavior against three women.

Filner entered the pleas as a part of an agreement with prosecutors. The felony charge accuses Filner of “false imprisonment by violence, fraud, menace and deceit.”

The charge says Filner used force to restrain a woman at a fundraising event, a prosecutor said in court Tuesday.

One of the misdemeanor battery charges says he kissed a woman on the lips without her consent in San Diego City Hall last April 6. The other misdemeanor battery charge says he grabbed a woman’s buttock at a rally last May 25 after she asked to have her picture taken with him.

The victims were identified as Jane Does 1, 2 and 3. Filner will be sentenced on December 9, and he has a plea agreement with prosecutors.

Filner, also a former nine-term Democratic congressman, resigned from the mayor’s post in August after at least 19 women came forward publicly to accuse him of inappropriate behavior during his time as a congressman and, since 2012, as a mayor.

The one-by-one emergence of the women accusing Filner of sexual harassment or other misconduct became a daily scandal for weeks that withered his political standing.

Numerous public officials, including all nine City Council members and the state’s two U.S. senators, urged him to step down. So, too, did a majority of locals, according to polls.

After the City Council voted 7-0 to accept his resignation, Filner spoke at a council meeting and offered a “deep apology … to all the citizens.”

“The city should not have been put through this,” the 70-year-old mayor said. “And my own personal failures were responsible.”

A short time later, though, Filner went on the defensive, even alleging that his ouster was “a political coup.” While admitting that his behavior toward women was inappropriate at times, he insisted that he “never sexually harassed anyone.”

In the process of “trying to establish personal relationships,” the mayor explained, “the combination of awkwardness and hubris, I think, led to behavior that many found offensive.” He added, “Not one allegation … has ever been independently verified or proven in court.”

“But the hysteria that has been created … is the hysteria of a lynch mob,” Filner said, criticizing an environment in which “rumors become allegations, allegations become facts, facts become evidence of sexual harassment which have led to demands for my resignation and recall.”

Blasting politicians and members of the media who “unleashed a monster,” the mayor said, “The hysteria ended up playing into the hands of those who wanted a political coup — the removal of a democratically elected mayor purely by rumor and innuendo.”

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San Diego Mayor Bob Filner

Image of Filner from FOX 5 San Diego

SAN DIEGO (CNN)-

The San Diego City Council has accepted the resignation of Mayor Bob Filner amid a torrent of sexual harassment claims, the council’s president announced Friday afternoon.

Filner’s resignation will be effective August 30, council President Todd Gloria said.

The announcement came after the council approved, in a 7-0 closed-door vote, a mediation agreement in the case, Gloria said. Filner’s resignation was contingent on the deal’s approval.

For his part in the scandal, Filner said to the council Friday afternoon, “I offer a deep apology.”

Even as he apologized for his behavior, Filner said: “I have never sexually harassed anyone. But the hysteria that has been created is the hysteria of a lynch mob.”

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SAN DIEGO (CNN) — An agreement has been reached with San Diego Mayor Bob Filner after three days of mediation, the city attorney told reporters Wednesday.

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said details of the proposed deal would remain confidential until they are presented to the City Council in a private meeting Friday at 1 p.m. (4 p.m. ET).

Immediately after the meeting, a report may be out at a public council meeting, Goldsmith said.

“Any rumors you hear about the proposal you may deem to be untrue because the people standing here are the ones who know of it and we have all committed … that we will maintain the confidentiality of the mediation,” he said while flanked by individuals involved in the effort.

Asked about Filner’s response to the agreement, his attorney declined to comment.

Filner has been in mediation talks on the heels of undergoing intensive two-week behavioral therapy amid multiple allegations that paint him as a serial perpetrator of sexual harassment.

So far, 18 women have come forward to say that Filner acted inappropriately, with accusations ranging from one woman’s claim that the mayor gave her “tush a pat,” to another woman’s assertion that he “put me in what I guess now is the famous headlock.”

The embattled mayor has steadfastly resisted efforts to force him out of office in recent weeks.

Filner’s office has not responded to multiple CNN requests for comment.

Last month, he acknowledged he “failed to fully respect the women who work for me and with me” and that he was “embarrassed” by his actions. But he also said he will be vindicated by “a full presentation of the facts” and that he would not step down.

But he might be considering resignation anyway.

CNN affiliate KGTV, citing anonymous sources, reported that the mediation was “designed to include a review of a potential resignation.”

Though the city chief of staff changed the locks on Filner’s office during his time away, it was to preserve evidence rather than to keep him out, the city attorney’s office has said.

Filner, 70, was elected mayor in 2012 after 20 years in Congress.

His accusers range from a singer at a campaign fundraiser to his former communications director, who called him unfit for office.

Volunteers hit the streets of San Diego over the weekend to begin collecting signatures for a recall. They need more than 101,000 signatures by September 26.

Filner has rebuffed calls to resign from all nine City Council members and from fellow Democrats, including California’s two U.S. senators.

His supporters, who include some labor unions and Latinos, say Filner is being denied due process, and the recall effort is orchestrated by those who oppose his political agenda.

 

From Casey Wian. CNN’s Kyung Lah, Josh Levs, Ed Payne and Dana Ford contributed to this report.

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San Diego Mayor Bob Filner

Image of Filner from FOX 5 San Diego

SAN DIEGO (CNN)-

The latest person to accuse San Diego Mayor Bob Filner of sexual harassment is a great-grandmother.

The woman, who works at the Senior Citizens Service Desk in San Diego City Hall, allegedly faced “continuous inappropriate sexual advances by the mayor while trying to do her job,” according to the office of her attorney, Gloria Allred.

An announcement, including the woman’s identity, is planned for Thursday afternoon.

She is the 16th woman to come forward with such allegations, according to CNN affiliate KFMB.

As the list grows, city officials said Thursday that Filner might be booted from office later this month over a different, but related issue: money.

‘Inappropriate movement on my body’

A local attorney became the 15th accuser against Filner, speaking to KFMB this week.

Kathryn Vaughn told the station that after her husband walked away at a public event 10 years ago, Filner “made an inappropriate movement on my body.”

Filner, 70, was elected mayor of the eighth-largest American city in 2012, after 10 terms in Congress. His accusers range from a singer at a campaign fundraiser to his former communications director, who called him unfit for office.

He has rebuffed calls to resign from all nine City Council members and from fellow Democrats, including California’s two U.S. senators. He now faces a recall effort that is trying to gather more than 100,000 signatures needed to put his future up to a new vote, though some political observers doubt organizers can succeed.

In July, Filner acknowledged that he “failed to fully respect the women who work for me and with me” and that he was “embarrassed” by his actions. But he also said he would be vindicated by “a full presentation of the facts” and he would not resign.

Mayor could be booted over money

Now, investigators are also looking into possible financial impropriety — including questionable charges at the Westgate Hotel, where Filner allegedly took women.

The San Diego’s City Attorney’s Office told CNN Thursday that it had found the charges were inappropriate. Filner’s attorney and the mayor’s office did not respond to CNN’s requests for comment.

The city attorney’s office said a rarely-used section of the city charter, Section 108, dating back to 1931, would allow for Filner to be removed from office — without a recall — over unauthorized payments from the city treasury.

The city council plans to vote August 28 on whether to invoke that section. If it does, it would then ask a court to boot Filner from office.

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hooterbansfilner

Courtesy: KSWB

SAN DIEGO (KSWB) — Four San Diego-area Hooters restaurants — known for waitresses who wear tight orange shorts and tank tops — have posted signs saying they will not serve San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, who is fighting allegations of sexual harassment.

All four locations are owned by Hootwinc, which operates Hooters eateries on the West Coast.

Mayor Bob Filner Apologizes For Sexual HarassmentSAN DIEGO (CNN)-

This is the day San Diego Mayor Bob Filner enters a behavior counseling clinic for two weeks of what he describes as intensive therapy.

The 70-year-old is battling a tide of sexual harrassment allegations, and is hoping that voluntarily subjecting himself to the counseling will quell the mounting calls for his resignation.

He has repeatedly said he’ll not leave the office he was elected to barely eight months ago.

San Diego’s city charter does not require him to appoint an interim mayor during his temporary absence.

His decision is unlikely to appease his opponents.

A 10th accuser

Over the weekend, another woman accused the mayor of unwanted sexual advances — making her the 10th woman making such allegations.

Renee Estill-Sombright told CNN affiliate KGTV that the mayor called her “beautiful” at a church breakfast in June, said he couldn’t take his eyes off her, asked if she was married, and then said he’d like to take her out some time.

The reported comments caught her off guard, Estill-Sombright said.

“I said, ‘Oh, thank you,’” she said. “I kind of felt weird.”

CNN has made multiple efforts to contact Filner and his representatives on the latest allegations but has not gotten a response.

‘I need help’

Earlier this summer, when the allegations first began, Filner acknowledged “I need help,” and added, “I’m clearly doing something wrong.”

“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. It’s a good thing that behavior that would have been tolerated in the past is being called out in this generation for what it is: inappropriate and wrong,” he said in a statement issued July 11.

But Filner has also said he believes he will be vindicated by “a full presentation of the facts” and he will not resign.

In late July, Filner said he planned to begin counseling Monday.

In a statement given at City Hall, he apologized “to the women I have offended.”

“The behavior I have engaged in over many years is wrong. My failure to respect women and the intimidating conduct I engaged in at times is inexcusable,” he said.

Battling a lawsuit

Filner’s former spokeswoman, Irene McCormack Jackson, and nine other women have accused Filner of sexual harassment. Up to this point, Jackson is the only accuser to file a sexual harassment suit against Filner.

He asked the city to pay for his legal fees; the city council voted against that.

Jackson said Filner subjected her and other women to “crude and disgusting” comments and inappropriate touching. She said she resigned as Filner’s communications director in June after deciding the mayor would not change his behavior.

None of the other women leveling claims of sexual harassment against Filner came forward until Jackson filed her suit in state court.

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SAN DIEGO (CNN)-

Dogged by allegations of sexual harassment, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner admitted Thursday “that I need help” but stopped short of resigning.

“I’m clearly doing something wrong,” he said.

Some of his longtime backers are urging Filner to step down. Among them is former city councilwoman Donna Frye — a Democrat, like Filner, who recently worked in the mayor’s office. She said Thursday that after hearing allegations directly from several women, “I could not not act.” She sent Filner a letter Tuesday asking him to step down.

Filner acknowledged Frye’s request in a statement Thursday and implicitly admitted there was merit to her concerns.

“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,” he said. “It’s a good thing that behavior that would have been tolerated in the past is being called out in this generation for what it is: inappropriate and wrong.”

No women have come forward publicly to detail allegations against Filner. He has not been charged with any crime, nor has anyone filed a lawsuit against him.

Yet Marco Gonzalez, a Southern California lawyer, told reporters Thursday he and Frye know of “very specific acts from individuals who have worked for the mayor that they have been subjected to behavior that does not meet our community standards.” It’s up to them to provide specifics, Gonzalez said, but even absent such public declarations, he and others felt compelled to speak out for them.

“I believe what they have told me, and they are not alone,” Frye said.

Amid the uproar, the mayor announced Thursday that he’s “begun to work with professionals to make changes in my behavior and approach” and that he and his staff will have sexual harassment training. Filner also promised that he’d personally reach out and apologize to those who now or have in the past worked in his office.

“Please know that I fully understand that only I am the one that can make these changes,” he said.

Filner did not indicate he had any plans to resign.

Earlier this week, numerous reports — including one from CNN affiliate KSWB — said that Filner’s fiancee, Bronwyn Ingram, had called off their engagement for unspecified reasons.

The Republican Party of San Diego cheered Ingram’s move on its Facebook page, saying “she deserves better.” Since then, they have kept up their criticism of Filner and Democrats who, they allege, overlooked Filner’s behavior that they claim “has been widely known … for years.”

In her remarks Thursday, Frye said she understood that “there will be many opportunities to turn this into a political side show or worse.” The mayor himself can help address the crisis, and help San Diego, by stepping down, she said.

“I am asking our mayor and his closest advisers to please take this to heart,” the councilwoman said. “To please hear what we are saying, and to do the right thing.”

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