San Diego mayor out of rehab, but locked out of office

Story highlights

  • Bob Filner is believed to be back in the city he governs after a stint in rehab
  • The mayor said he would start a two-week program on August 5 but started earlier
  • A growing tide of women are making sexual harassment allegations against him
  • Reports: Mayor's chief of staff changed his office locks to preserve potential evidence

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, facing a growing tide of sexual harassment allegations, has completed his two-week intensive behavior therapy a week early and will begin outpatient treatment, his lawyer said.

But he might not be back at work in his office any time soon. His chief of staff changed the locks, according to numerous reports, including one by CNN affiliate KFMB.

Attorney James Payne said in a statement that Filner began treatment on July 29, a week before the mayor previously told reporters he would start. Filner was to complete that phase of treatment Saturday, Payne said.

Did mayor target victims of military sexual assault?

In the same statement, Payne said Filner would take some personal time this week and would not be available for comment.

It is unclear when Filner will return to work, but he is believed to be back in the city he governs after his rehab stint.

Victims start talking

An increasing number of women are saying that Filner inappropriately touched them, prompting his chief of staff to resign and fellow Democrats to call for him to step down.

In a personal letter to the mayor Friday, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, who addresses Filner as "Bob," wrote: "We've known each other for a long time. ... So I am speaking to you now on a personal and professional level, and asking you to step down as mayor and get the help you need as a private citizen."

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California's other senator, Democrat Dianne Feinstein, has also asked Filner to resign.

Eleven women have now accused Filner, 70, of sexual harassment while he was mayor or a congressman.

The latest is nurse Michelle Tyler, who said Tuesday that Filner rubbed her arm in his office and asked for dinner dates in June in exchange for his helping a brain-injured Iraq war veteran. She said Filner told her he wanted to kiss her.

While Filner acknowledged last month that "I need help" and said "I'm clearly doing something wrong," he has also said he believes he will be vindicated when all the facts come out. The mayor has vowed not to resign.

The idea that Filner has now completed rehab and could come back to lead San Diego did not sit well with many of his constituents.

"It's ridiculous," said Gary Sehnert, a San Diego resident. "Why is this continuing?"

"Really mayor? You did what you did and now you want to stay as mayor," said William Sawaya, another San Diego resident. "(Expletive), you're not staying as mayor."

Filner served 10 terms, or 20 years, in Congress before being elected mayor of San Diego last year.