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Bob Filner, San Diego mayor accused of sexual harassment, to get therapy

He has not, however, volunteered to step down.

Filner therapy 2013 07 26Enlarge
Mayor Bob Filner of San Diego speaks at a press conference on July 26, 2013, in San Diego, Calif., announcing his intention to seek professional help for sexual harassment issues. (Bill Wechter/Getty Images)

Mayor Bob Filner of San Diego, accused of sexual harassment by seven women, announced Friday that he will go to a clinic for two weeks of intensive therapy.

He described it as a “first step” towards becoming a better person.

In his three-minute announcement, Filner, 70, also apologized to his staff, his city, his supporters and “most of all, to the women I have offended.”

“My failure to respect women and the intimidating contact I engage in at times is inexcusable,” he said. “It has undermined what I have spent my whole professional life doing and working on, fighting for equality and justice for all people.”

Filner did not, however, say he would step down, even though his own party, the San Diego Democratic Party, has voted for him to resign.

Filner made his announcement a day after four more women went public with their experiences of being harassed by the mayor.

Six out of nine city council members have asked Filner to step down. They were not impressed by his therapy plan.

“Mayor Filner continues to put his needs in front of the needs of his victims and the needs of the citizens of San Diego,” Councilwoman Lorie Zapf told the Los Angeles Times.

If a fed-up public wants to get rid of Filner, it will have to produce more than 100,000 signatures – 15 percent of San Diego voters – in order to submit a recall petition to the city council, Politico noted.