Efforts to recall Mayor Bob Filner heat up in San Diego

Time seems to be running out for San Diego Mayor Bob Filner.

Organizers started collecting signatures on Sunday in an attempt to recall the embattled mayor and hundreds joined a "Freedom from Filner" rally in downtown San Diego.

The city attorney's office said it could also seek a restraining order to keep Filner out of City Hall.

Filner has dismissed numerous calls to resign after 16 women accused him of  inappropriate sexual contact and harassment.

The most recent woman to come forward, 67-year-old Peggy Shannon, said Thursday that Filner repeatedly asked her to rub his hands, requested dates, and made sexually suggestive comments.

Shannon said she was so upset by Filner's behavior that she went home and cried. 

Nearly every elected official with a connection to California has asked Filner to resign. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi made a public call for Filner to step down and save the city from the pain and expense of a recall.

Filner checked himself into a treatment center for two weeks of intensive behavior therapy but left a week early.

Volunteers wearing bright yellow "RECALL FILNER" t-shirts collected signatures from runners finishing up a half marathon at San Diego's Balboa Park Sunday morning.

Kathleen Dang told NBC San Diego that she signed the petition because she believes harassment in the workplace is inexcusable.

"I signed the petition because a person in power should not be disrespectful to anyone. Everyone is equal and that kind of harassment in the workplace is not acceptable anywhere else, so it shouldn’t be acceptable in the mayor’s office,"  Dang said.

A U-T San Diego poll released on Sunday shows that the majority of San Diegans agree.

Eighty-one percent of those surveyed think he should resign, and 72 percent would sign a recall petition.

Recall organizers need to collect and turn in more than 101,000 valid signatures by Sept. 26 to qualify for a ballot measure to force Filner out of office.