Filner appeared before the city council after council members approved a deal that included him resigning. Saying he is a victim of "lynch mob hysteria", he said he would have been proven innocent had he been given the opportunity for due process. His resignation is effective August 30th. The council voted 7-0 in favor of the mediation deal.
"I apologize to all of you," Filner said in the San Diego City Council chamber after the council emerged from a 90-minute closed-door meeting, during which the panel unanimously approved a settlement agreement with the mayor. Listen to complete statement below:
Although he apologized, Filner blamed a "lynch mob mentality" for leading to his demise, and insisted that he "never sexually harassed anyone."
"I think I let you down," Filner said, addressing his supporters in the room. "We had a chance to do a progressive vision in this city for the fist time in 50 years. ... We need you to carry that vision forward. This is not the time to let it die."
Filner offered a personal apology to his former fiancee, Bronwyn Ingram.
"I love you very much," he said. "You came to love San Diego as much as I did. And you did memorable things in the short time you were first lady and I personally apologize for the hurt I have caused you, Bronwyn.
"To all the women that I offended, I had no intention to be offensive, to violate any physical or emotional space. I was trying to establish personal relationships, but the combination of awkwardness and hubris led to behavior that many found offensive."
Earlier Friday, Team 10 confirmed that Filner signed a letter of resignation that was in possession of former judge J. Lawrence Irving, who oversaw three days of mediation earlier this week.
In addition to sexual harassment claims, the 70-year-old former congressman faces allegations that he misused a city issued credit card and shakedowns of developers.
Filner, who was only on the job for less than nine months, became the third San Diego mayor to resign in recent times. Roger Hedgecock and Dick Murphy also resigned from office.
The mediation was sparked by a lawsuit filed by the first woman to come forward and publicly accuse the mayor of sexual harassment, former mayoral Communications Director Irene McCormack Jackson.
Her lawyer, Los Angeles-based Gloria Allred, told reporters Thursday she had not been provided details of the agreement and does not consider her client's lawsuit settled.
Allred's remarks raise the possibility that the deal reached in mediation will only affect the city's portion of the lawsuit, the only one to be filed against Filner so far. A total of 18 women have publicly accused him of improprieties.
Allred challenged the City Council to reject any deal that provides city money to Filner, which she said would be "callous and unholy."
With his resignation, City Council President Todd Gloria would become interim mayor, and a special election would be scheduled within 90 days. If a candidate receives more than 50 percent of the votes, that person would become mayor. Otherwise, a runoff election would be held between the top two vote-getters.