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Filner touts accomplishments in response to recall effort

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The day after a response was issued by Mayor Bob Filner to the current efforts to recall him, his top aide faced tough questions at a downtown Lion's Club meeting.

Filner's chief of staff Lee Burdick read a prepared statement that mirrored the response the mayor released Monday. Following the statement, Burdick took questions from a club member. The first question addressed the policy of Filner not being alone with women during meetings, which Burdick says she and the mayor created to protect him from further allegations.

"And also to ensure the citizens of San Diego that your business was being conducted with the highest level of integrity," she said.

Burdick also said Filner's bullying style won't be tolerated when he returns from his leave of absence on Monday.

"You're not going to be able to scream and yell at the Council," she said.

THIS IS A STORY UPDATE. For an earlier story, read below.

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is touting his accomplishments in office over the past eight months in response to a recall effort seeking to strip him of his job.

Filner's comments are part of a formal response he filed with the City Clerk's Office late Monday night. The one-page response makes no mention of the sexual harassment allegations against the mayor or the accusations that he has shaken down developers for donations.

"Now is not the time to go backwards -- back to the time when middle-class jobs and neighborhood infrastructure were sacrificed to downtown special interest," Filner wrote. "We need to continue to move forward!"

[Read Filner's full statement]

Filner goes on to write about his efforts to improve Balboa Park, make neighborhoods more accessible to bicyclists and pedestrians, and San Diego's recently reached five-year labor agreement with city employees.

Organizers of the recall effort are now required to publish his response before they can begin collecting signatures for the Filner recall petition. Organizers must collect nearly 102,000 valid signatures and submit them to the City Clerk's Office by Sept. 26.

This week, recall organizers launched recallbobfilner.com. The new website was created after a group of area political consultants joined the recall effort, which previously had been run by land use consultant Mike Pallamary, homemaker Elisa Brent and newspaper publisher Stampp Corbin.

The new site has three pages -- a homepage, a page for donations and one for volunteer information.

Pallamary said thousands of dollars of donations have come in over the past few days, averaging around $150.

According to Pallamary, the biggest job has been to coordinate volunteers because support from the community has been "overwhelming."

The website gives the Navajo Road office address of April Boling, who agreed last week to serve as the campaign's treasurer. Boling has served for years as treasurer of campaigns by Republican candidates.

Public relations executive John Hoy, fundraiser Jean Freelove -- who helped qualify a pension reform initiative for the June 2012 ballot -- also joined the campaign, along with Rachel Laing, who will help with communications.

Filner is accused of sexual harassment by 14 women to various degrees. Filner's alleged actions against women range from unwanted advances to groping and kissing. He has apologized for mistreating women and sought treatment at a behavioral treatment center, but has denied that his actions constitute sexual harassment.

The list of alleged victims includes two municipal employees, one of whom is being represented by famed Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred and has sued Filner and the city. It also includes two women who said Filner made passes at them last year at a meeting of veterans who were raped in the military. And one of the complainants is a retired rear admiral.

All nine members of the City Council, both of California's senators and other local civic and business leaders have called for the mayor to step down immediately. He has refused.

In addition to sexual harassment, Filner has been accused of shaking down developers. According to U-T San Diego, a subpoena has been issued to Lee Burdick, Filner's chief of staff, to have her testify under oath and provide her notes about issues involving Sunroad Centrum Partners, a developer that paid $100,000 to the city -- allegedly at the behest of Filner -- before its project was approved. The incident is being investigated by the FBI.

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