Mediation to continue in Filner harassment lawsuit

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Irene McCormack Jackson and Bob Filner

SAN DIEGO — Mediation efforts in the one sexual harassment lawsuit filed against outgoing Mayor Bob Filner and the city of San Diego will continue, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said Friday.

The litigation, filed July 22 by Irene McCormack Jackson, opened the floodgates for numerous women to contend they were also sexually harassed by Filner.

McCormack Jackson, the mayor’s former communications director, alleged he told her she should work without her panties on, that he wanted to see her naked and that he could not wait to consummate their relationship.

Filner also allegedly demanded kisses from McCormack Jackson and put his arm around her and dragged her along in a headlock while making sexual remarks.

Since she stepped forward, 17 other women have alleged unwanted advances, groping, or in some instances, forced kissing from the mayor. The other women include a retired admiral and two female veterans who say they were harassed at a meeting for women who had been raped during their military service.

None of them have sued.

On Thursday, McCormack’s Los Angeles-based lawyer, Gloria Allred, said the deal reached in three days of mediation between city officials and the mayor did not involve their lawsuit.

However, Goldsmith said mediation for the city’s part of the lawsuit will take place, overseen by Judge J. Lawrence Irving. The next court hearing is scheduled for Sept. 16.

According to terms of the city’s settlement with the outgoing mayor, the City Attorney’s Office will jointly defend the city and Filner against claims by current or former municipal employees, volunteers or contractors. The city reserves the right to seek reimbursement of damages from Filner.

The terms also include a $98,000 cap on city payments for outside counsel to defend Filner.


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