Mayor Filner Refuses to Address Whirlwind of Allegations

In an exclusive interview, Mayor Filner refuses to address allegations of improper behavior

In an exclusive interview, Mayor Bob Filner refused to address the whirlwind of allegations about pending sexual harassment lawsuits that prompted former San Diego City Councilmember Donna Frye to ask him to resign.

In a letter released Wednesday afternoon Frye states "I have recently received credible evidence of more than one woman being sexually harassed by you. Despite past rumors I have tried to give you the benefit of the doubt." Read the letter dated July 9 here.

She added that she cannot "in good conscience remain silent on this..."

So she asked the mayor to step aside and request a special election to fill the seat.

After an afternoon of heightened media attention, NBC 7 caught up to Mayor Filner in the elevator at his downtown apartment.

The mayor's SUV entered an underground parking garage through the delivery entrance of his downtown highrise, avoiding news crews from local television stations.

While Filner declined to answer several questions, he told NBC 7 "There are no allegations to respond to."

The mayor's office has not responded for several days on a variety of topics including allegations of lawsuits threatened or filed involving the mayor's behavior.

Late Wednesday, the mayor’s spokesperson told an NBC 7 News waiting outside City Hall that there would be no response from Filner or from her about letters from Donna Frye and longtime Filner ally attorney Cory Briggs.

NBC 7 News has also contacted the City Attorney's Office to ask if any sexual harassment claims have been filed and has not received a response.

Our NBC 7 Investigates team also checked the Department of Fair Employment and Housing where sexual harassment claims are filed as precusors to lawsuits and found no record of cases filed against Filner.

When contacted by NBC 7, Frye confirmed she had sent the letter but did not make any additional comment.

NBC 7 has received an email announcing a planned joint appearance Thursday by Frye, Briggs and environmental and government/elections attorney Marco Gonzalez to discuss their joint request that Filner resign.

San Diego City Councilmember Kevin L. Faulconer issued this statement Wednesday afternoon: “It saddens me that the City of San Diego is crumbling under Mayor Filner’s scandals, including these most recent sexual misconduct allegations. These allegations are very serious and Bob Filner owes the public a full explanation.”

Also Tuesday, a former ally of Mayor Filner provided NBC 7 with a copy of his letter sent to Filner asking him to resign.

Cory Briggs, an attorney who has represented San Diegans for Open Government, sent this email to Filner Tuesday saying he can't continue to defend the mayor without hurting his professional reputation.

An influential Republican called all this astonishing, saying he expects it to generate momentum among Democratic Party leaders.

"Democrats naturally want to back their own, but the bad series of stories about Bob Filner -- some moral, some legal, certainly all of them judgmental in terms of his ability to make a good decision -- you have to think there comes a point where they finally decide, 'Hey, we need to get out of this,'" said Richard Rider, Chair of the San Diego Tax Fighters.

Francine Busby, chair of the county Democratic Party, came out in support of Filner in response to Briggs' letter.

But once Frye's letter came to light, referencing the sexual misconduct allegations, she revised her statement to:

"I'm just learning about this. It's a very serious accusation. It's an issue I personally take very seriously as does the Democratic Party."

Timeline: Bob Filner and Controversy

Earlier this week, Filner's fiancée Bronwyn Ingram announced the two are no longer getting married in October as planned. Ingram said she is also leaving her role as the mayor’s volunteer point person on homelessness.

Last week, the mayor's recent trip to Paris was criticized.

There was the published report about a federal investigation into a six-figure donation to Filner from a local real estate developer who was in the final stages of a major project. 

NBC 7's news partner, voiceofsandiego reports that someone tried to ask the mayor about the letters after a luncheon Thursday.

Liam Dillon reports that Mayor Filner said, "I have no response to that."

When Dillon asked if Filner had any intention of resigning, he said the mayor walked away.

Staff at Filner's downtown office cleared their desks and left for the day (picture right).

Security detail moved the mayor's black SUV after several television reporters staked out the parking spot in an attempt to get a statement from the mayor.

Read more on the controversial policy decisions and statements Filner has made in his tenure in this timeline. 

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