A former employee of San Diego Mayor Bob Filner during his time in Congress "never would have raised a dime for him” if he knew he was going to transfer power to the city manager in a time of crisis he tells NBC 7.
Humberto Peraza worked for U.S. Rep. Bob Filner between 2004 - 2009 as his District Director.
In an interview Friday, Peraza describes his disappointment after hearing accusations involving Filner’s inappropriate behavior directly from some of the victims.
Here’s the Q&A:
Why did you ask Filner to resign?
I asked Filner to resign, number 1, because I talked to some of the victims. Some of these victims are friends of mine. I should add some of these victims are friends and some of them I know will never come out. I am standing up for them now. Obviously, it was a very difficult decision having worked for Bob for nearly seven years. I think he, at this time, does not have an ability to run the city or be the mayor of this city. When I see the slogan of 'having moved the city forward,' I see it as moving the city backwards. He has, in effect, handed the mayorship to someone else. With all due respect to Walt Ekard, if Bob Filner had run on a platform that he was going to hand the strong mayor seat over to Walt Ekard, I never would have supported him. I never would have raised a dime for him. I don't think people would have elected him with that platform. He's basically turned the strong mayor (system) into a city manager system.
How difficult of a decision was this for you?
It was heart-wrenching. Being someone I worked with for so long, I am hugely -- I can't even put into words -- how disappointed I am in Bob Filner. I don't think I have ever in my life been more disappointed and angry.
What's your reaction to last night's vote?
The community leaders only have a few options for recourse in times like this. The message about due process isn't appropriate. The due process will come. This is a political process. These are our only options - a political process - and that's what you are watching play out.
In your time working for Bob, had you ever seen any behavior indicating this type of problem?
None of that ever occurred with any of the Congressional employees I supervised while I worked there.
Finally, are you surprised by the situation?
Peraza currently works as District Director for Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, who has called on Filner to resign.
He's also an elected official, serving as a trustee on the Southwestern College board.