It looks like Bob Filner does not discriminate against who he hits on.
A senior citizen, who is great grandmother, is the latest to accuse the embattled San Diego mayor of making inappropriate sexual advances.
Peggy Shannon, 67, who works at the Senior Citizens Service Desk in San Diego City Hall, held a news conference with high-profile attorney Gloria Allred on Thursday, in which she said Filner kissed her on the lips, asked her to feel his hands and requested she go out with him on the weekends. She said the contact was absolutely unwanted.
At first, Shannon said Filner would make flirtatious comments to her, which she brushed aside and even took as a compliment. But the behavior spiraled out of control, Shannon said, when Filner kissed her on the lips in January as she was leaving work.
“I went home and cried. I just felt so sad. I was just not sure how to take this contact, but it was very disturbing to me,” Shannon said, adding Filner should resign immediately and that she was speaking out now because she doesn’t want any additional working women to be subjected to the mayor’s advances.
She joins 14 other women who have accused the Democratic, 70-year-old mayor of sexual harassment since July.
Allred described how Filner would allegedly grab Shannon’s hands, one time saying “See my hands are smooth,” and another time asking “Do you think I could go eight hours straight?” Shannon said she began to fear that she would lose her job and would feel depressed and anxious before going into work. A “job she initially loved became a source of humiliation for her every time Mayor Filner would approach her desk,” said Allred.
Shannon also said after the first sexual assault allegations became public, Filner came up to her desk, put his fingers to his mouth and said “Shh!” “She has lived in fear ever since,” said Allred.
Allred is currently representing Filner’s former director of communications, Irene McCormack Johnson, who has filed a lawsuit seeking unspecified damages. McCormack claims Filner put her in a headlock, demanded kisses, and even suggested she come to work without underwear. Allred has also filed a complaint on behalf of Michelle Tyler, a vocational nurse, who says Filner demanded a date in exchange for helping an injured vet.
Despite the accusations and even after local and national Democratic party members asked him to resign, Filner has refused to step down. On July 26, Filner apologized and said he would enter a 2-week intensive therapy program, which started on Aug 5. However, he left therapy a week early.
There’s currently an effort to recall Filner, and actual petitions will begin circulating in the country’s eighth largest city on Aug. 18.
Earlier this week, Filner issued a formal response to recall effort. He listed his accomplishments but made no mention of the allegations, indicating that he isn’t going anywhere.
“Now is not the time to go backwards – back to the time when middle- class jobs and neighborhood infrastructure were sacrificed to downtown special interest,” the mayor wrote. “We need to continue to move forward!”
At the press conference, Allred said Shannon plans on going back to work, but that she never wants to see Filner again unless he resigns and apologizes for his alleged behavior.
Shannon noted that she has three sons, four grandsons and two great grandsons. “As our mayor, you should be, but are not, a role model for any of them…The right thing for you now is to go.”