San Diego Mayor Bob Filner's new Chief of Staff appeared on national television Tuesday to address the allegations of sexual harassment against the mayor and how his office is responding to the scandal.
Lee Burdick appeared on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show and said Filner was involved in the decision to adjust policy to prevent any one-on-one meetings between women and the mayor.
“We felt it was a reasonable and prudent business practice in light of the allegations that were being leveled against him,” Burdick said.
“We put forth that policy because we felt it protected both the mayor and the citizens of San Diego. Ensuring them city business was being conducted with the highest level of integrity.”
Burdick stood beside Filner at Friday’s announcement that he will begin a two-week behavioral therapy treatment August 5. The mayor has not revealed the disorder for which he is seeking treatment.
After Filner’s statement, Burdick followed him out of the room packed with media and placed a hand on his back in support.
On MSNBC, Burdick said she didn’t feel it was impossible for the mayor to govern the city despite calls for his resignation from city councilmembers, longtime allies, Democratic party leadership at the local and national level and state legislators.
“I believe in the legal process. And I know, at the end of the day, if the Mayor has done what he is accused of doing, that process will result in the correct remedy,” Burdick said.
While Mayor Filner has not publicly admitted to groping women, touching them inappropriately or making unwanted sexual advances, he said Friday, “My failure to respect women and the intimidating contact I engage in at times is inexcusable.”
Burdick said the mayor is surrounded by sophisticated advisors. She also said it’s her role to step up and make sure the business of San Diego moves forward.