San Diego mayor leaves therapy program early
LOS ANGELES (CNN) — San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, facing a growing tide of sexual harassment allegations, left a two-week behavior therapy program Friday, the city attorney’s office said — a week shorter than Filner had publicly said he planned to be there.
On July 26, Filner told reporters that he planned to enter the two-week program August 5 and return to office August 19. An increasing number of women were coming forward at the time to report that Filner inappropriately touched them, prompting his chief of staff to resign and fellow Democrats to call for Filner to step down.
Reports of Filner’s departure from the program were confirmed Friday by Tom Mitchell, communications director in the office of City Attorney Jan Goldsmith.
Citing his lawyers, CNN affiliate KABC reported that he will continue his therapy on an outpatient basis.
Filner’s whereabouts were unknown Friday, and it was unclear whether he would be back at work Monday.
Eleven women have now accused Filner, 70, of sexual harassment while he was mayor or a congressman.
The latest is nurse Michelle Tyler, who said Tuesday that Filner rubbed her arm in his office and asked for dinner dates in June in exchange for his helping a brain-injured Iraq War veteran. She said Filner told her he wanted to kiss her.
While Filner acknowledged last month that “I need help” and said “I’m clearly doing something wrong,” he has also said he believes he will be vindicated when all the facts come out. The mayor has vowed not to resign.
Filner served 10 terms, or 20 years, in Congress before being elected mayor of San Diego last year.
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