Human rights activist Enrique Morones and Southwestern College governing board member Terri Valladolid showed their support for San Diego Mayor Bob Filner and due process during a Thursday afternoon press conference in San Diego.
Filner, a former congressman who represented Chula Vista and National City, is facing several allegations of sexual harassment against constituents and coworkers. No charges have been filed against the mayor or claims filed with the city.
Morones, a long-time supporter of the former congressman, said all parties involved should be heard fairly through due process.
“It is very important that Bob Filner or anybody else, if these alleged victims really were victims, they deserve due process as well,” Morones said in a telephone interview. “The judicial system should take over.”
Morones said as far as he knows, Filner has not done anything criminal, so there is no reason to call for his resignation.
Morones added that Filner is not getting treated fairly by his fellow constitutes and the media.
“To have this kangaroo-court style of a show is absolutely wrong, it’s shameful and I am sad that more people haven’t spoken out,” he said.
It comes as a surprise, Morones said, that some of his friends like San Diego Councilman David Alvarez and Democrat Donna Fye are asking for the mayor’s resignation.
Morones said no victims have come to him nor has he seen any compelling evidence that suggests Filner sexually harassed women. He said if a victim were to come to him he would advise them to go to the police and not use the media.
Morones said he accepts Filner’s apology for “inappropriate behavior” toward women.
“I do accept his apology,” Morones said. “I don’t condone any of that type of behavior towards women or anybody else. I think it’s absolutely wrong. Now there is a difference though between inappropriate behavior towards an individual and doing something illegal.”
Morones, the founder and president of Border Angels said he is not speaking on behalf of his organization, but is just “reaching out to a friend.”
Valladolid said she was not representing the school board in calling for due process for Filner. As an individual she would not call for the mayor’s resignation and was waiting “until there’s a full fair process, and all the facts get out and there’s an opportunity for Mayor Filner to defend himself if charges come forth.”
Valladolid said in the time she has known Filner she has never heard of any sexual misconduct rumors of Filner until these accusations came out.
Valladolid said she supports the work Filner has done as a congressman.
“I’ve always supported the work he’s done for the community,” she said. “ He’s done a lot for the community. As far as the polices that require what he stood for in the policies, I totally support him.”
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