Emerald criticizes Filner but doesn’t call for resignation
SAN DIEGO (CNS) – City Councilwoman Marti Emerald Tuesday broke her
silence on the sexual harassment allegations dogging Mayor Bob Filner, but she
did not call for her political ally to resign.
“Today, I have a simple but serious request. My request is that the
mayor take his time out and spend two weeks in thought and therapy, that he
reach into his heart and make a connection with the pain and disgrace that he
has brought upon so many women,” Emerald said in a statement she read at
today's City Council meeting.
She issued the statement minutes after being criticized by four women
for not speaking out previously.
Emerald was at a month-long symposium on governance at Harvard
University when the allegations surfaced and returned a few days ago. She said
she watched the controversy from afar and absorbed “the magnitude of the
situation” and the depth of the hurt and harm to women.
“I also hope that he makes a connection with God and asks for
forgiveness, and for the spiritual strength and courage to do what he needs to
do to end this horrible situation,” Emerald said. “I do not believe it is my
place to be the judge or the jury for our mayor. But I do know it is my place
as an elected woman and as a community leader to stand up and speak out on
behalf of those who have been harmed and stand with them — every woman — in
She said she didn't know what kind of future decisions would be made by
Filner — whose name she didn't use — but the responsibility and consequences
of the decisions “rest solely on him, and with him.”
Seven of the nine members of the City Council have called on the mayor
Seven women have stepped forward to publicly accuse Filner of unwanted
sexual advances. Former mayoral Communications Director Irene McCormack Jackson
is suing Filner and the city.
Before Emerald read her statement, four women criticized her for not
speaking out on behalf of women.
One of them, Lindsey Mercer, later said she appreciated and respected
the councilwoman's comments.
“His behavior has been so outrageous and egregious to this point that,
I think, (for) us concerned female voters nothing short of a call for
resignation is enough,” said Mercer, an attorney.
“Given the number of victims, Mayor Filner's acknowledgement of his
wrongdoing, his public apology for this behavior — it's just not behavior that
we can stand for in the leader of our city and someone who supervises female
employees and is supposed to represent all voices here in San Diego,” Mercer
Another who spoke out, Stacia De Los Reyes, said she was not interested
in anything short of a call for resignation.