Kevin Klein’s commentary on why Mayor Bob Filner should not resign misses the point. The actions of Anthony Weiner, Eliot Spitzer, and Gavin Newsom occurred between consenting adults. Filner’s situation is not a personal sex scandal, but a matter of professional misconduct. He admits that he didn’t respect the women who work for him and with him, and he intimidated them. This behavior was unwelcome, non-consensual and wrong.
Klein states that Filner should not resign unless he is convicted of a crime and should have the right to “redeem” himself in a trial. At the age of 70, after countless years in the public realm, Filner must know what is appropriate conduct and what is not. Both his chief of staff and his deputy chief of staff knew such conduct was wrong and recently resigned from their six-figure jobs. Klein’s statement that the privileges and power of the mayor’s office far outweighs the harm he has caused his victims, city employees, and the city shows an inability for Klein to appreciate the seriousness of Filner’s already-acknowledged inappropriate behavior.
Further, it implies that Filner is justified in remaining in office for his own personal benefit instead of resigning in recognition of the damage he has done to the city. We have the right to demand Filner’s resignation. We cannot allow someone to remain in office who is unfit to be a leader. The only path to redemption for Filner is for him to resign.