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All eyes on City Hall to see if San Diego Mayor Bob Filner returns to work

Bob Filner

The biggest question at City Hall on Monday is whether Mayor Bob Filner will return to work.

When he announced that he had signed up for two weeks of intensive therapy to begin to learn how to treat women with respect, he said he would return to work Aug. 19 prepared to be "the best mayor I can."

But last week, as the recall movement against him prepared to begin a signature gathering campaign, Filner's aides and lawyers told reporters that they were unsure whether he would be returning as previously promised.

He reportedly was taking "personal time" after completing his behavorial therapy regimen.

On Sunday, the recall movement began the daunting task of gathering enough signatures to qualify a recall election for the ballot. Several hundred people participated in a "Freedom From Filner" march that ended at City Hall.

At the rally, attorney Gloria Allred, who represents three of the 16 women who have accused Filner of sexual harassment, repeated her call for him to resign.

Also calling for his resignation was Peggy Shannon, 67, a part-time city worker, who has alleged that Filner kissed her and repeatedly made inappropriate comments, including a suggestion that he could perform sexually for eight hours.

On Monday, the other side in the dispute plans a pro-Filner rally at noon, also outside City Hall.

Rally organizer Enrique Morones said that "we stand united in stopping the public mockery of our judicial system. Due process for mayor and accusers."

Former City Councilman Carl DeMaio, beaten by Filner in November's election, has also promised to make an "important announcement" about the recall.

Filner, 70, a Democrat, has rejected all demands that he resign. All nine City Council members have said he should quit in the best interests of the city.

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Twitter: @LATsandiego

tony.perry@latimes.com

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