- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 17, 2013

San Diego’s Mayor Bob Filner is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at a conference on sexual assault in the military next month.

Mr. Filner, a self-described “hugger,” is facing allegations that he sexually harassed several female staffers. He responded to the claims in an interview on Tuesday, saying he simply needs to “have a greater sense of awareness” to prevent future misunderstandings, the Huffington Post reported.

The National Women Veterans Association of America was initially planning to honor the Democrat in a “lifetime of leadership awards ceremony” at its gala in August for his work as chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, but the group has since decided to back out of the award.

He is, however, still the keynote speaker for the event.

“Due to the recent events of allegations of sexual harassment, admission of inappropriate behavior by the Mayor and his personal cry for help, National Women Veterans Association of America has removed the mayor from being honored at the benefit gala to support the Military Sexual Assault Community,” the group said in a press release. “He is now the keynote speaker on these injustices.”

“We do not tolerate sexual discrimination at any level within our society,” the group’s president Tara Jones said in a statement to the Huffington Post.

Former Filner supporters have said the mayor “forcibly kissed two constituents and grabbed the buttocks and breast of a staff member,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

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