A day after four additional women accused San Diego Mayor Bob Filner of sexual harassment, Filner said he will enter a “behavior counseling clinic” on Aug. 5 “to undergo two weeks of intensive therapy.”
“Words alone are not enough,” Filner said. “I am responsible for my conduct, and I must take responsibility for my conduct by taking action so that such conduct does not happen again.”
“I must become a better person,” Filner added.
Filner, a Democrat, has so far been accused by seven women of sexual harassment ranging from inappropriate comments to unwanted touching and advances. The women include constituents and former employees of Filner.
The allegations have spurred some of Filner’s most loyal allies to express their disgust and demand his resignation — among them Rep. Scott Peters, a San Diego Democrat, and most of the San Diego City Council.
And Friday, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz joined those calling on Filner to resign “for the good of San Diego.”
“The misconduct Mayor Bob Filner has been accused of is reprehensible and indefensible,” Wasserman Schultz said. “I am personally offended by his actions and I firmly believe no employee should face a hostile environment or harassment at their place of employment.”
Filner insisted Friday that he will return to office Aug. 17 after completing his stint in rehab.
That announcement likely will not quell speculation about whether Filner will later resign.
One of Filner’s most notable and recent political foes, Republican Carl DeMaio, is already running against Peters in one of the nation’s most competitive House races and so while he would be a favorite to oppose Filner in any future election, he may not be available. Filner bested DeMaio in the 2012 mayoral race by a slim margin: approximately 10,000 votes.