Supporters demand due process for Mayor Filner - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Supporters demand due process for Mayor Filner

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This flyer was released by Mayor Bob Filner's office Thursday, July 18. This flyer was released by Mayor Bob Filner's office Thursday, July 18.

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Supporters of Bob Filner rallied around the embattled San Diego mayor Thursday.

They held a rally downtown arguing that the mayor has a right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in connection with recent sexual harassment allegations.

About 40 of Filner's supporters gathered in the Civic Center Plaza to say that he deserves fair treatment and not a public flogging by those who formerly were in his corner.

"Bob Filner you deserve due process. It is not only a right, but you have earned it more than most. We will not endorse a public execution," community activist Enrique Morones said.

The rally comes four days after former Filner ally and ex-Councilwoman Donna Frye and attorneys Marco Gonzalez and Cory Briggs revealed accusations that the mayor forcibly kissed several women and groped another.

"I think it's been a real miscarriage of justice to attack (Filner) as he's been attacked, almost as a public lynching. It pains me to see that happen to a friend who's been there for us," Hispanic community business leader Josie Calderon said.

Supporters spoke about Filner's long record of public service, including his fight for veterans, the homeless, civil rights and education.

"He has been with us for the past 40 years, specifically advocating on behalf of children, advocating for democratic schooling, and advocating for the right to opportunity for the development of the youth in careers," SDSU professor Dr. Alberto Ochoa said.

The mayor's backers are confident he can weather any challenge, including a possible recall. They say they will remain by his side as the political firestorm continues to brew at City Hall.

"Before we take the drastic position of removing an elected official from office, we the voters need to be informed about the facts and about the issues so that we the voters can make an informed decision. We ask for a fair, due process," Teresa Valladolid of the Southwestern College Governing Board said.

Mayor Filner did not attend Thursday's rally.

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