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San Diego mayor promises to change after sex harassment complaints

July 12, 2013|By Tony Perry

The day after San Diego Mayor Bob Filner apologized for mistreating women and promised to change his behavior, the question remains: Is that good enough?

Marco Gonzalez, one of the attorneys who joined with former Councilwoman Donna Frye in calling for Filner's resignation, declined Thursday to respond to Filner's apology and promises.

He said he and the others will respond Friday after consulting with the women who were allegedly sexually harassed by Filner.

At a Thursday news conference, Gonzalez said the next chapter in the scandal would depend on Filner. So far, none of the women have gone public or indicated they will file claims or lawsuits against the city.

Filner, chastened by the calls for his resignation, particularly from Frye, issued a DVD on Thursday with his apology. He also indicated he was seeing a professional for help in changing his behavior. He promised to apologize to the women he has offended.

And he mentioned changes in his staffing, possibly to put a buffer between him and staff members to shield them from his sometimes volatile nature.

Reaction to the scandal has largely been split along party lines. Although Gonzalez, Frye and attorney Cory Briggs said they did not want the issue to be swept into partisan politics, the opposite appears to have occurred.

Several key Republicans have called for Filner, a 70-year-old Democrat, to resign. But no Democratic officeholders.

In an unusual twist, the archly conservative editorial page of the San Diego newspaper, which has run a string of editorials attacking Filner's conduct and his handling of various city issues since he became mayor in January, on Friday morning noted that even Filner should receive due process and that the allegations, still without many public facts behind them, do not seem sufficient to merit his resignation.

Lorena Gonzalez, a San Diego labor leader, longtime Filner supporter and recently elected to the state Assembly, noted in a widely distributed tweet that, "As a woman involved in SD politics for a decade, I can personally attest to the fact that Filner is not alone with inappropriate behavior toward women."

Gonzalez is the sister of Marco Gonzalez.

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tony.perry@latimes.com

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