CREDIT: Bill Wechter/Getty Images
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner (D), who has refused to resign for over a month despite mounting allegations of sexual harassment, is finally agreeing to step down. An NBC affiliate reports that Filner reached a deal with city officials this week, and will vacate his office by Friday.
The news of Filner’s sexual misconduct first broke in early July, and the mayor admitted that he had behaved inappropriately toward women. He apologized and checked himself into therapy, but he refused to step down from office. Meanwhile, the number of women stepping forward to accuse Filner of harassment continued to increase. More than a dozen women — including former military sexual assault victims and a great-grandmother — came forward with stories about the mayor’s unwanted advances.
The local Democratic party has been calling for Filner’s resignation for weeks. “To avoid hurting your victims and the people of San Diego more than you already have, you should step down immediately,” Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) wrote in a letter to Filner at the beginning of August. San Diego residents began organizing a recall campaign against him.
Although Filner’s departure is welcome news for his multiple victims, the controversy surrounding him speaks to an issue that’s all too pervasive in the workplace. One in four U.S. women report that they have been subject to sexual harassment in the workplace. All too often, employers continue to get away with treating women as sex objects.