Still, many who came to the special meeting supported the embattled mayor, hailing his work on behalf of civil rights and struggling minority groups.
"When my children ask me, 'Where were you when the public lynching of Mayor Filner took place?' I will tell them I was not an accessory," said Enrique Morones, president of immigrant advocacy group Border Angels.
Filner still faces a criminal investigation. Nicholas Pacilio, a spokesman for the California attorney general's office, confirmed after the mayor announced his resignation that an investigation was underway but declined to elaborate.
The San Diego County Sheriff's Department is fielding complaints of sexual misconduct by the mayor and delivering its findings to the attorney general's office. San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, who lost to Filner in last year's election, has recused herself.
San Diego is not new to political scandals — Mayor Dick Murphy resigned in 2005 amid a financial crisis and Mayor Roger Hedgecock stepped down in 1985 after a felony conviction for conspiracy in connection with illegal campaign contributions — but even so Democratic consultant Chris Crotty said this has reached a new level.
When Filner's resignation takes effect, Todd Gloria, the Democratic City Council president, becomes acting mayor until a special election is held within 90 days. Democrats enjoy a solid edge over Republicans in voter registration, but the GOP will capitalize on the Filner debacle to try to reclaim an office it has held for nearly all of the last four decades.
After taking office on Dec. 3, 2012, Filner struck a five-year labor agreement with city unions and opened a city of San Diego office in Tijuana to strengthen ties with the Mexican border city, However, he alienated many key players even before the allegations surfaced, including members of the City Council, the city attorney and hoteliers.
Filner, who began his political career on the San Diego school board and later served on the City Council, is twice divorced. Ex-fiancee Ingram ended her marriage engagement days before the scandal broke and later said Filner sent sexually explicit text messages to other women and arranged dates in her presence.
Associated Press writer Michael R. Blood contributed to this report from Los Angeles.
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