Calls for embattled San Diego mayor to step down

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner faces charges of sexual misconduct and is digging in for what could be a very long fight.
CBS News

(CBS News) SAN DIEGO - There is a new effort underway in America's eighth largest city to recall the mayor.

The city is San Diego and the mayor is Bob Filner. He faces charges of sexual misconduct and is digging in for what could be a very long fight.

As the public outcry against Mayor Bob Filner grows louder, voters like Sherry Lundeen are growing frustrated.

"There's too many people that want him gone," she said, "and he may end up hanging on by his fingernails. But I just really don't think he's doing the city any good."

Filner has released a video response to allegations of sexual harassment. But more than a week after those allegations were first made public, he insists he will not resign.

In his apology to the city, the mayor asked for forgiveness: "I'm embarrassed to admit I have failed to fully respect the women who work for me and with me, and that at times I have intimidated them."

"Bob Filner is tragically unsafe for any woman to approach," said former city council member Donna Frye at a press conference. She was a longtime Filner ally, but now she along with Democrats in Congress and environmental groups are one by one demanding that he step down.

Frye read accounts from unnamed accusers: "'Mayor Filner grabbed me and kissed me. I was able to push myself away.'"

But no formal complaints or criminal charges have been filed.

San Diego mayor: I won't resign over sexual harrassment allegations
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Carl Luna is a political science professor at San Diego's Mesa College. On Filner's next best move, Luna advised: "Be quiet, hunker down, hope it all goes away." As far as Republicans' best move, Luna said: "Get some popcorn and watch the show because it's all good for Republicans. Whether he's gone or not, Democrats look bad. "

"San Diego wants to be known for other things, not a wayward mayor, a run amok mayor, if you will," said Lundeen.

"Ideally," said Luna, "what the entire Democratic Party would like to do is take the mayor on a vacation someplace and forget to buy his return ticket."

The mayor has asked for due process. But the political process may not wait.