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San Diego Mayor Starting Rehab; Accusers Count Now At 10

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner in July.
Bill Wechter
Getty Images
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner in July.

Today's the day San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, who's now been accused by 10 women of sexual harassment, is to start two weeks of treatment at a behavior counseling clinic.

Even though the Democratic mayor will be at an undisclosed location, he apparently won't be completely out of touch. According to San Diego's Union-Tribune, "Filner won't be ceding any authority during his self-imposed therapy sessions and plans to be briefed each morning and night on civic affairs and give direction to city staff."

Meanwhile, as CNN reports, over the weekend "another woman accused the mayor of unwanted sexual advances — making her the 10th woman making such allegations. Renee Estill-Sombright told CNN affiliate KGTV that the mayor called her 'beautiful' at a church breakfast in June, said he couldn't take his eyes off her, asked if she was married, and then said he'd like to take her out some time. ... 'I kind of felt weird,' [she said]."

The network adds that it "has made multiple efforts to contact Filner and his representatives on the latest allegations but has not gotten a response."

Filner, 70, has been the subject of such charges for weeks now. Last month, KPBS recounted how Filner's former communications director, Irene McCormack Jackson, described his "penchant for putting her into a headlock and pulling her about, while whispering sexually explicit comments in her ear. She said the mayor often told her he loved her, wanted to kiss her, told her he wanted to see her naked and that she should work without panties at City Hall; and that he wanted to 'consummate their relationship.' "

The mayor is twice-divorced. In July, the woman he had been engaged to ended their relationship. Bronwyn Ingram, 48, said "she ended her relationship with him because he became increasingly abusive toward her and began sending sexually explicit text messages to other women in her presence," KPBS reported.

Filner has rejected calls to resign. In a video statement to the people of his city, he conceded that he had "failed to fully respect the women who work for me and with me, and that at times, I have intimidated them."

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.
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