Watch CBSN Live

Facing harassment charges, Filner to undergo counseling

Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET

Resisting growing calls for his resignation amid multiple sexual harassment charges, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner on Friday apologized for his actions and announced he'll spend two weeks in "intensive therapy" at a behavioral counseling clinic.

"The behavior I have engaged in over many years is wrong," Filner said in a press conference. "My failure to respect women and the intimidating conduct I engaged in at times is inexcusable. It has undermined what I spent my whole professional life doing -- fighting for equality and justice."

The Democratic mayor said it was not good enough to "explain away my conduct as the product of a different generation." He said he has reached out to people to apologize and has instituted changes in the mayor's office.

"I must take responsibility for my conduct by taking action so that such conduct does not ever happen again," he said.

Multiple Democrats in recent days have said that Filner should step down.

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Friday said that Filner should resign, calling the charges against him "reprehensible and indefensible."

"I am personally offended by his actions, and I firmly believe no employee should face a hostile environment or harassment at their place of employment," she said in a statement. "There is no place for this type of conduct in the workplace and certainly not in our city halls and public offices."


Thursday night, the San Diego County Democratic Party also voted to ask Filner to resign. A week earlier, the local party was split on the issue. Since then, however, more women came forward charging they were sexually harassed by the Democratic mayor, bringing the total number of women with public complaints against him to seven.

Also on Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the behavior from Filner and New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner -- both former Democratic congressmen -- was "reprehensible." She added, "If they're clueless, get a clue."

Filner said Friday that he would begin his full-time therapy on Aug. 5 and would receive briefings every morning and evening on city activities. "When I return on Aug. 19, my focus will be on making sure I am doing right by this city, by being the best mayor I can be," he said.

View CBS News In