Sen. Barbara Boxer has joined Sen. Dianne Feinstein in publicly calling for San Diego Mayor Bob Filner to resign over accusations of inappropriate behavior toward women.
Filner has been losing the backing of key supporters since a number of women have publicly accused the first term mayor of sexual harassment.
“I am speaking to you now on a personal and professional level, and asking you to step down as mayor and get the help you need as a private citizen,” Boxer said in an open letter.
Filner, who acknowledged during a July 26 news conference that he has a problem, has taken two weeks off to enter an intensive treatment program. That decision and the continued accusations have fueled calls for the mayor to resign.
Boxer, a Democrat who lives in Rancho Mirage, says Filner, who is also a Democrat, must step down because he has betrayed the public’s trust.
“But now I must say this directly to you, Bob you must resign because you have betrayed the trust of the women you have victimized, the San Diegans you represent and the people you have worked with throughout your decades in public life.”
At least 14 women have accused Filner of making crude comments, touching them inappropriately, trying to kiss them, or offering to help them if they’d agree to a date.
“Let me be clear: The latest revelations regarding your behavior toward women recovering from sexual assault – women who desperately need our help – have shaken me to my core,” Boxer wrote.
Others urging Filner to resign include Feinstein, Rep. Susan Davis, former Mayor Jerry Sanders, all the members of the San Diego City Council, state Controller John Chiang, and more.
The public also seems to have turned against the mayor. In a recent poll by 10News and U-T San Diego, 67 percent of San Diego voters think Filner should step down, and a recall campaign has been launched.
“Bob, you have already hurt so many people,” Boxer wrote. “To avoid hurting your victims and the people of San Diego more than you already have, you should step down immediately.”