SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The number of women publicly claiming to have been victims of unwanted sexual advances by San Diego Mayor Bob Filner continued to climb Thursday.
Lawyer Gloria Allred and 67-year-old Peggy Shannon held a news conference Thursday afternoon. Shannon claims she was a "victim of continuous inappropriate sexual advances" from the mayor while she worked at the Senior Citizens Service Desk in the lobby of the City Administration Building.
Shannon and Allred explained that Mayor Filner would routinely stop at Shannon's desk, asking her to touch his hands and repeatedly asking her to go out with him. When at work, Shannon said at times she would see Filner coming and she would hide. Shannon went on to explain that Filner would stop by her desk several times a day and during one visit he took her hand and talked about how they would get together the following weekend. Shannon said that she would have butterflies in her stomach at work, everything becoming very stressful for her.
Shannon is the third municipal employee to accuse Filner of harassment.
Wednesday, local attorney Kathryn Vaughn came forward as the 15th alleged victim of sexual harassment by Filner. Vaughn spoke with the News 8 Morning Show Thursday about her encounter with Filner, which happened about 10 years ago at a public event.
"He came up to me and I had a very uncomfortable moment with him. And at the time, I froze and looked around for my husband and there were a lot of other people in the room," Vaughn explained.
When Vaughn was asked if Filner groped her, she replied:
"He made an inappropriate movement on my body, yes."
Vaughn said she will lead a rally and march along with three other local businesswomen, demanding Filner's resignation as mayor. The rally is set to be held Sunday, August 18 at San Diego City Hall from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. The event coincides with the first day that organizers of a recall campaign can collect signature petitions.
One of the other city employees to step forward, ex-mayoral communications director Irene McCormack Jackson, hired Allred and has sued Filner and the city. Another said she filed two complaints.
Other victims include a retired admiral, a dean at San Diego State University and two veterans at a meeting of women who had been raped during their military service.
The San Diego County Sheriff's Department, which is conducting a criminal investigation, operates a hotline for women to report sexual harassment by Filner. The number is (619) 481-0220.