Troubled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has finally agreed to quit his office, but not before claiming that his ouster was a “lynching.”
Filner agreed to vacate the Mayor’s office after reaching an agreement in a closed-door session with the City Council but in the public session, Filner addressed the city for the first time in weeks.
As he began his remarks, Filner offered a “deep apology” to “all the citizens,” and agreed that it was his own “personal failures” that were responsible for the whole situation.
But as he went on it became clear that he was still not ready to accept all the blame for the past weeks of controversy. It wasn’t long before Filner spun the story into a conspiracy of “well-organized interests” aligned to bring him down.
He admitted that while trying to “establish personal relationships” his actions “led to behavior that many found offensive.” But he claimed that no incidents of harassment have ever been “verified or proven in court.”
Filner then characterized the whole affair as nothing but hysteria.
“You know, I started my political career facing lynch mobs. And I think we have just faced one here in San Diego. And you’re going to have to deal with that,” he scolded.
“In a lynch mob mentality, rumors become allegations, allegations become facts, facts become evidence of sexual harassment which have led to demands for my resignation and recall.”
The soon-to-be-ex mayor then said that politicians and the media had “unleashed a monster” and he called this hysteria an “affront to democracy.” He went on to say, “The hysteria ended up playing into the hands of those who wanted a political coup–the removal of a democratically elected mayor purely by rumor and innuendo.”
Filner will officially step down on August 30 after submitting his agreed upon resignation which was accepted in a 7 to 0 vote of the City Council.