Filner accuser applauds guilty plea

SAN DIEGO – A woman accusing ex-mayor Bob Filner of sexual harassment reacted Tuesday to his guilty plea to one felony and two misdemeanor charges.

At least 17 women came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Filner including Stacy McKenzie, who has a pending sexual harassment and battery suit against him.

McKenzie said it’s a good day for the victims who were courageous enough to come forward.

“It feels great. I feel vindicated,” she said. “Not that we doubted it, but it’s good for him to say, finally, its not his nature, he’s not just hugger, or friendly person. He has done some horrible things to women.”

McKenzie is the district manager of San Diego Parks and Recreation and was one of the first to file a private complaint against Filner.

“If he did what he did to me in front of hundreds at a family event on Sunday afternoon, what’s he doing to women behind closed doors in trapped cars or elevators?” she asked.

Filner’s long-time supporters Donna Frye, Marco Gonzalez and Cory Briggs publicly asked for Filner’s resignation on July 11 and accused him of sexual harassment.

“I hadn’t heard of other victims and then as I started to hear more and more and more. I thought – this is just so much bigger that what I anticipated,” McKenzie said.

Of the women who came forward with accusations, four have filed civil suits, including Filner’s former Communications Director Irene McCormack Jackson.

McCormack’s attorney, Gloria Allred, commended the state attorney general’s action, issued a statement saying “his conduct was reprehensible and justice demands that he be punished for the harm he has caused to countless women who trusted and believed in him.”

McKenzie’s attorney, Dan Gilleon, said Tuesday’s quick guilty plea means the whole picture of what Filner may have done has not been revealed.

“There has to be more,” said Gilleon. “There has to be something we don’t know.”

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