Political sex scandals: Who survived, who didn't, and why

Accusations of sexual harassment ended the political career of Bob Filner, who resigned as mayor of San Diego Aug. 23. But sex scandals are not necessarily fatal to political ambition. Against all odds, some politicians survive them. How do they do it? Here’s a list of notable politicos whose careers continued in spite of their slips – and some who didn’t, and found themselves looking for work in the private sector.

1. Bob Filner: goner

Gregory Bull/AP/File
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner speaks during a news conference at city hall, in San Diego, July 26, 2013.

By the time San Diego Mayor Bob Filner left office August 23, 2013, just about every fellow Democrat on the planet had told him to resign. 

Eighteen women (at last count) had accused the mayor and former congressman of groping them or making lewd comments, the list ranging from his former communications director (who sued him for sexual harassment) to military veterans to a 67-year-old great-grandmother.

In a public apology, Filner conceded that his conduct had been “inappropriate and wrong,” then he disappeared into two weeks of what he called “intensive therapy.”

But by then it was way too late, and a signature-gathering effort to oust him by ballot measure was underway. Meanwhile, federal, state, and local investigators began gathering information and building cases against Filner for financial issues dealing with developers.

In the end, he was forced to negotiate with city officials – in a mediation setting overseen by a retired federal judge – the terms of his departure. 

In exchange for his resignation, the city agreed to pay some of his legal fees, which may amount to several hundred thousand dollars.

But for most San Diegans, the cost of seeing the back of Bob Filner apparently was worth it.

- Brad Knickerbocker, staff writer

1 of 9
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.