A defiant San Diego Mayor Bob Filner agreed to resign on Friday amid widespread allegations of sexual harassment, combining an apology with a shot at political opponents whom he said used the situation for a “political coup.”
He will officially resign on Aug. 30, following a 7-0 vote from the San Diego City Council in favour of the deal.
“I can’t afford to continue this battle, even though I know, if given due process, I would be vindicated,” Filner said. In a lengthy statement, he proceeded to blast political opponents who he said was guilty of using the allegations for a “coup” and charging that he was targeted by a “lynch mob.”
Filner has been accused of sexual harassment by at least 18 women, many of whom are still active in the city’s political scene. That includes his former communications director, who is now represented by celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred in a lawsuit against Filner and the city.
He attempted to save his job as mayor by undergoing an intensive therapy for two weeks. But there were increasing calls for his resignation over the past few weeks, including from the Democratic National Committee and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
Bizarrely, Filner ended his speech by quoting Ted Kennedy’s 1980 presidential concession speech to Jimmy Carter.
“Hope still lives, and the dream shall never die,” Filner said.
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