SAN DIEGO (CNS) - San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has outlined the city's process for an independent review and investigation, which he said would support his claim of innocence of the sexual harassment allegations made against him.
Filner said Friday evening that complaints would be referred to the city's Equal Opportunity Investigative Office -- which does not report to him -- and pledged to authorize using an outside investigator if concerns arose over the city conducting the investigation.
He stood by his previous assurance to make changes and improve his office's workplace environment, but said "I am confident that a fair and independent investigation will support my innocence with respect to any charges of sexual harassment."
After ex-supporters aired the allegations without disclosing specific details and called for his resignation, Filner said via DVD "I have failed to fully respect women who work for me and with me, and at times I have intimidated them," although he did not admit outright to sexual harassment.
Filner said he sought professional help to change his behavior and approach, and would participate in sexual harassment training.
City employees were emailed a reminder of sexual harassment policies at the request of the City Attorney's Office.
Officials with the City Attorney's Office said Friday they had not received specific information or a claim involving sexual harassment allegations against Filner, and were unaware that any other city agency had, but did request such information, if it exists.
City Councilman David Alvarez said Friday night he had received new, first-hand information regarding the sexual harassment allegations against Filner and immediately reported it to the city's human resources department. Alvarez also demanded Filner resign, a sentiment echoed by several prominent government officials and others this week.
"My heart goes out to the victims of this abhorrent treatment," Alvarez said. "Please know that you have my support during this difficult time."
San Diego County Democratic Party Chair Francine Busby said she was convening a special meeting to address the issue. Her constituents had voiced concerns that the "scandal" was drawing attention from important city issues.
"Our priority is to ensure that the Office of Mayor is leading San Diego effectively," Busby said.