San Diego Mayor Says He Will Enter Treatment Clinic
Update at 3:07 p.m. ET. Entering Treatment Clinic:
The besieged San Diego Mayor Bob Filner will not resign, but during a press conference, just minutes ago, said he "must take responsibility" for his actions and will therefore be entering a "behavior consulting counseling clinic," beginning August 5.
Filner has been facing calls for his resignation — including from leaders in his own party — after seven women came forward alleging unwanted sexual advances.
On CNN, the chairwoman of the San Diego County Democratic Party Francine Busby expressed disappointment that Filner was not stepping down, but she called this the "next best thing." Busby said it is very hard to hold a recall election in San Diego.
During his statement, Filner said his behavior is "not acceptable" and that he apologizes to his staff, the citizens of San Diego, and the women who he had "offended."
"My failure to respect women is inexcusable and undermined my entire professional life ... of fighting for equality," he said.
Filner said after a two-week stint at the clinic, he will return to his post as mayor on Aug. 19.
"I must become a better person," he said.
Our Original Post Continues:
Four more women — including a retired Navy rear admiral — came forward Thursday to accuse San Diego Mayor Bob Filner of unwanted sexual advances. That brings to seven the number of women who say they've been "on the receiving end of unwanted advances, inappropriate touching and comments by Filner," San Diego's KPBS is reporting.
His own party now wants Filner to step down. Support for the mayor "continued to crumble Thursday when the county Democratic Party demanded he resign as the sexual harassment scandal around him intensified," San Diego's Union-Tribune writes. The newspaper adds that:
"We are not here to determine guilt or innocence," party Chairwoman Francine Busby said after emerging from the closed session where the committee voted 34-6 for resignation. "However, in the best interests of the city, the San Diego County Democratic Party has asked Mayor Filner to step down to seek the personal help that he needs, to address his legal issues and allow the city of San Diego to move forward."
"I need help," Filner said in a video statement released earlier this month. He also said he would not resign.
On Thursday, according to the Union-Tribune, Filner asked the people of San Diego to "take a deep breath and let that process work itself out. Meanwhile, we've got a city to run."
Update at 11:20 a.m. ET. Director Of Arts And Culture Commission Resigns:
KPBS writes that "only one month into her post, Denise Montgomery is resigning as executive director of the City of San Diego's Commission for Arts and Culture." In a statement, Montgomery says, "I cannot in good conscience remain part of the Filner administration."