SAN DIEGO — The lawyer for three women who accused Bob Filner of sexual harassment said Friday she was glad his “long overdue” resignation as mayor of San Diego was to become official Friday afternoon.
“San Diego will finally be free of Bob Filner and all the shame that he has brought to the city of San Diego,” said Los Angeles-based women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred. “Now San Diego can finally move forward with an interim mayor, and then with the election of a new mayor who will hopefully restore respect and dignity to the mayor’s office.”
Filner betrayed the trust of the city’s voters, Allred told reporters hours before his resignation, announced last week, becomes effective at 5 p.m.
Allred represents Irene McCormack Jackson, who has sued Filner and the city. The lawyer said mediation is ongoing, and a Sept. 16 motions hearing has been taken off calendar.
The City Attorney’s Office, which is now defending Filner against accusations by city employees, volunteers and contractors, has rescinded motions to quash a subpoena of the mayor and to change the venue to Imperial County.
Allred brought three goodbye “gifts” for Filner, which she said she’ll try to hand over to the City Attorney’s Office.
One was a wallet-sized card containing the state definition of sexual harassment.
“I suggest that whenever Mayor Filner gets the urge to speak to a woman or touch a woman, that he should pull out this wallet-size sex harassment card and remind himself of what the law requires of him,” Allred said.
She also offered Filner a hand mirror to see “who was responsible for his downfall,” and a going away card that read: “Dear Bob, although our time together has been brief, I look forward to seeing you again at your deposition. Good luck. Gloria Allred.”
McCormack Jackson was not present at the news conference, but three other clients who’ve also previously accused Filner of sexual harassment read statements.
Peggy Shannon, a part-time employee at a senior citizens’ services desk at the City Administration Building, licensed vocational nurse Michelle Tyler and ex-Marine Ragazzino each thanked San Diegans for their support.
Shannon, who said Filner repeatedly asked her for a date and kissed her on the lips, said many people have thanked her for coming forward. Tyler, who went to Filner to get help for Ragazzino — Veterans Administration benefits were snarled in red tape — said they have been “overwhelmed by the love and support we have received.”
Ragazzino said the staff of Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, has provided her with assistance. The VA has resolved the major issues with her benefits, she said.