The campaign to recall San Diego Mayor Bob Filner over allegations of sexual assault and sexual harassment will formally get underway Sunday, the first day that signatures can be collected for a recall petition. 

Organizers have announced plans to circulate petitions at the finish line of a half-marathon due to be run Sunday morning and stage a march and rally in the afternoon. Organizers have until September 26 to collect 101,597 signatures, or 15 percent of San Diego’s registered voters. 

Proponents of the recall say that more than 800 people have signed up to volunteer on behalf of the recall drive. 

“We’re so gratified and encouraged by the enthusiastic response to our call for volunteers,” Michael Pallamary, a land use consultant who filed the petition to recall Filner, told “This is a tremendous grassroots undertaking — truly the people taking back their government from an abuser who has betrayed San Diegans, demeaned women and who can no longer lead our city.”

16 women have publicly accused Filner, a Democrat and a former Representative, of various forms of sexual harassment, from groping to unwanted advances. All nine members of San Diego’s city council have called for Filner to resign, but he has refused to do so.

On Friday, San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith raised the possibility that the city could file a restraining order against the 70-year-old on the grounds that his presence would create a hostile work environment for women. Goldsmith also raised the possibility that Filner could be removed from office for misuse of public funds.

The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that council members had raised questions about expenses Filner had charged to city credit cards. Questions were also being asked about a trip Filner took to Paris in June with two San Diego police officers accompanying him as security. 

Click for more from

Click for more from the Los Angeles Times