The San Diego County Sheriff's Department has established a telephone hotline for anyone wishing to report sexual misconduct allegations against Mayor Bob Filner.

Filner, battling accusations of sexual harassment of staff members and constituents, insists his behavior, while deplorable, is not sexual harassment and that he is being denied due process by having anonymous allegations made against him.

Join us at 9 a.m. when we talk with Times reporter Tony Perry about Filner’s refusal to step down and the continued pressure on him to do so.

Filner said he’s fine with the idea of the Sheriff’s Department hotline because it might lead to an objective investigation rather than just "press conferences and innuendo."

If an investigation is warranted, the Sheriff's Department would be the lead agency, not the San Diego Police Department, which reports to the 70-year-old Democrat, officials said.

Ten days ago, three former supporters of the mayor held a news conference to accuse him of sexual harassment and demand his resignation. Filner responded by apologizing for crass behavior toward women and promising to change. He also apologized to any women he has offended.

But he has refused to resign and has given indications he plans to fight any attempt to oust him. 

Announcement of the hotline came as three dozen people rallied outside City Hall to talk about their efforts to recall Filner and seek volunteers to gather the signatures necessary to put a recall on the ballot.