Ex-aide sues Filner for sexual harassment

SAN DIEGO — Famed lawyer Gloria Allred filed a sexual harassment lawsuit Monday against Mayor Bob Filner and the city on behalf of the mayor’s former communications director.

Gloria Allred, Irene McCormack JacksonAllred announced the suit at a news conference where she introduced her client, Irene McCormack Jackson. She is the first woman to publicly claim that the mayor sexually harassing her. Two other women have made anonymous accusations through a group of former Filner supporters.

Jackson, who resigned from the Filner administration in June, was the vice president of public policy for the San Diego Port District before she resigned to work for Filner. She continues to work for the city as director of communications for operations.

VIDEO: Watch entire news conference

Allred said that before today, it had been alleged that Filner told an employee that she would work better if she worked without her panties on.  The woman was not named. “Irene is the woman,” Allred said.

During the six months that Jackson worked for Filner, he told her that he wanted to “see her naked,” wanted to “consummate their relationship” and that he wanted to marry her, Allred said.

The lawsuit alleges that Filner’s sexual harassment of Jackson and other unnamed women “created an intimidating and hostile work environment for her,” Allred said.

Jackson said that she took a $50,000-a-year pay cut to work with Filner because she believed in what Filner stood for and wanted to be part of his administration. The six months that she worked for Filner, however, were the most difficult of her career, she said.

“I had to work and do my job in an atmosphere where women were viewed by Mayor Filner as sexual objects or stupid idiots. I saw him place his hands where they did not belong on numerous women. I was placed in the Filner headlock and moved around like a rag doll while he whispered sexual comments in my ear,” she said.

She said she had no relationship with Filner outside work, and she never gave the mayor any reason to think otherwise.

“His behavior made me feel ashamed, frightened and violated,” Jackson said. “He is not fit to be mayor of our great city. He is not fit to hold public office.”

The sexual harassment allegations were first aired publicly 10 days ago by former Councilwoman Donna Frye and lawyers Cory Briggs and Marcos Gonzalez, who said the victims were two constituents and a city employee.

The mayor initially apologized and admitted that he had a problem. More recently, however, he has demanded an investigation and his due process rights.

Numerous area office-holders and civic leaders have called on him to resign.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages. Allred said she plans to ask for what is supported by evidence that eventually comes out.

Allred did not comment when asked whether her client complained to supervisors or whether she knows of potential other victims.


18 Comments to “Ex-aide sues Filner for sexual harassment”

    josie said:
    July 22, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    Who would want to do it with her? If true, the mayor must have been ultra desperate……..

    dustin said:
    July 22, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Josie thats a dumb thing to say..Have you seen the mayor? He's not exactly Brad Pit himself…

    David M said:
    July 22, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    (sigh) There's nothing like a Gloria Allred press conference to remind you that trial by media is NEVER a good thing. Great, lots of sensationalistic hype, but few real facts, dates, times, places, and no chance for rebuttal before the various media outlets jump in with commentary.

    Thanks, Fox5, for playing right into the mouthpiece's plans. (Hold up sarcasm sign now.)

    Quest said:
    July 22, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    Studley Filner has what it takes to make women notice him!

    Skeptical said:
    July 22, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    A rag doll huh?, way to sell it. Maybe if Filner was a 800 pound gorilla. The force it would take to move a lady your size like a "rag doll" is more than old man Filner could muster. Watching you is like watching a WWE wrestler fall after a drop kick misses him. Just sell it to the fans, just like you're doing. Totally fake!!

    ms.Penn said:
    July 22, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    I believe they were all screwing around. Why did it take so long for these females to complain? And if they were married why weren’t they informing their spouses what was going on in their “workplace”? Shame on all of them. They prob liked it and were getting paid. They all make San Diego look bad. Shit hit the fan and now they want to come clean.

    ms.Penn said:
    July 22, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    I also believe that he was acting like that.but they liked it. They are attacking him now becus he promised them sum thing. Now its tattle tell on him. Why are they talking about how long its been going on if she was so uncomfortable with his hands on her why didn’t she call the cops and press charges from the jump?

    Johnny said:
    July 22, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    The city is becoming a joke. Someone please bring on the zombies!!

    FilnerFan said:
    July 22, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    for some reason I don't believe a word this lady is saying, if what she said did in fact happened then why it took her so long to come forward. Remember it takes to tango. She is at fault just as much as he is. If you don’t put yourself in a position to be harassed then you never will be.

    Zeke said:
    July 22, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    Robert Filner is pig, sexist and liar…more to follow…for the Captain Obvious crowd…for the rest of us..the guy doesn't care about San Diego..just his ego…This appears to be sexual assault..Illegal ..to the reasonable person..Anyone game, for the Filner re-election committee? What a shameful jerk !

    Bowler's Desk San Diego News said:
    July 23, 2013 at 3:45 AM

    Reblogged this on San Diego News – Bowler's Desk and commented:
    Ex-aide sues Filner for sexual harassment

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