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Filner harassment trial set for next year

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SAN DIEGO — Trial of a sexual harassment lawsuit brought against the city of San Diego and former Mayor Bob Filner was Friday scheduled for Feb. 20 of next year.

Irene-McCormack-Jackson,-Bob-Filner

Irene McCormack Jackson and Bob Filner

Irene McCormack Jackson, Filner’s onetime communications director, alleges the then-mayor 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.

It was mediation over her lawsuit that led the then-70-year-old mayor to resign last August after less than nine months in office. The City Attorney’s Office agreed to defend Filner in exchange for his agreement to step down.

Superior Court Judge Richard Strauss set the trial date after lawyers for the city asked for the case to be heard in 2015. McCormack Jackson’s attorney, Gloria Allred, argued for an earlier start.

“We’d like to have as early a trial date as possible so that our client and the city of San Diego can put this behind them,” Allred said after the hearing. “But given the scheduling concerns and conflicts of counsel, of the court, this is the best trial date that we could get.”

She said lawyers are collecting evidence and talking to experts. She said she hopes to depose Filner once he completes his term of house arrest.

The former 10-term congressman is serving three months in home confinement — part of his three years of probation — stemming from his guilty plea to one felony count of false imprisonment and two misdemeanor counts of battery. He was sentenced Dec. 9.

Two other women have sued Filner over his alleged misconduct.

Stacy McKenzie, a city employee like McCormack Jackson, contends the ex- mayor grabbed her from behind, put her in a headlock and rubbed her breasts at an event at a city park. Michelle Tyler was seeking help for a friend, a Marine veteran, when she says Filner demanded a personal and sexual relationship.

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