SAN DIEGO – Mayor Bob Filner is ending therapy earlier than he announced, his attorneys said late Friday, as the leader of the nation's eighth-largest city came under enormous pressure to resign amid sexual harassment allegations.
Filner will end "intensive" therapy Saturday and continue counseling on an outpatient basis, the Payne & Fears LLP law firm said. He will take off next week and not be available to comment.
The mayor said last month that he would begin therapy Aug. 5, acknowledging that he behaved inappropriately toward women for years. Filner said at the time that he would return to work Aug. 19 after a two-week program.
It was unclear if Filner began therapy earlier than he said he would. The law firm said he completed the two-week program but did not say when he started.
The surprise announcement was the latest twist in a saga that has plunged San Diego into one of its deepest periods of political turmoil. More than a dozen women have publicly identified themselves as targets of Filner's unwanted advances, including accounts of touching, forcible kisses and lurid comments.
All nine members of the City Council have called for the mayor to resign eight months into a four-year term, including two lone holdouts who issued a scathing joint statement on Friday that he should leave office immediately.
"Mayor Filner's conduct is reprehensible and cannot be excused," Councilwomen Myrtle Cole and Marti Emerald said.
U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer told Filner on Friday that the allegations against him "have shaken me to my core."
"Bob, you must resign because you have betrayed the trust of the women you have victimized, the San Diegans you represent and the people you have worked with throughout your decades in public life," she wrote to the former 10-term congressman.
Filner, who is 70 and divorced, is San Diego's first Democratic leader in 20 years. U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, the San Diego County Democratic Party and many other party faithful have called on him to resign. He has resisted, saying last month that he would return to work after therapy to be "the best mayor I can be and the best person I must be."