San Diego’s mayor to undergo counseling
SAN DIEGO – Declaring he “must become a better person,” San Diego Mayor Bob Filner said Friday he will undergo two weeks of counseling after a series of women claimed he made unwanted sexual advances that included groping, kissing and offensive comments.
The announcement did little to stifle widespread calls for the former congressman to resign and further plunged the nation’s eighth-largest city into political turmoil.
Filner said he will receive twice-a-day briefings about city operations while participating full time in what he described as “intensive therapy” beginning Aug. 5. He said he would return on Aug. 19 and focus on “doing right by the city in terms of being the best mayor I can be, and the best person I must be.”
He said the two-week stint will be part of a continuing program that involves ongoing counseling. City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said Filner, not the city, will pay for the therapy.
Filner, who is 70 and divorced, did not take any questions after the announcement.
Several people who have called on Filner to resign said his plan for therapy was inadequate and reiterated calls for the Democrat to step down.
“Two weeks of therapy may help Bob Filner with his personal problems, but it does not help to address the needs of San Diego,” said Laura Fink, a political consultant who alleges that Filner patted her buttocks at a 2005 fundraiser when she was deputy campaign manager for the then-congressman.
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