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City Employee Files Claim Alleging Sexual Harassment By Filner

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A city of San Diego employee who contends Mayor Bob Filner asked her for a date and placed her in a headlock at a municipal function announced her intention to sue the city.

Mayor Bob Filner tells the City Council he will resign.

Special Feature Read the Backstory

All of the accusations, statements and apologies from the key players in the developing story about allegations of sexual harassment in Mayor Bob Filner's office and calls from former mayoral supporters for his resignation.

Lawyer Daniel Gilleon, who represents Stacy McKenzie, the district manager for Mission Bay Park, filed a claim -- a precursor to a lawsuit -- with the City Clerk's Office. The filing alleges the mayor battered the 50-year-old woman "for his own sexual gratification'' and that the city failed to protect and warn employees against his "predatory nature.''

The city can decide whether to accept or deny the claim -- the latter option would lead to a lawsuit.

McKenzie, who first went public with her accusations against the mayor on KOGO Aug. 8, said Filner asked her for a date and placed her in a headlock at a city function at Mission Bay on April 21. She said he also grabbed her wrists so she was unable to move.

"What he did was wrong, what he did was not okay,'' McKenzie said on the station's morning show. "What he did shouldn't have happened to any one of us, regardless of what degree it was or how it came about.''

Other victims of sexual harassment by Filner, whose resignation becomes effective at 5 p.m. Friday, should not be afraid to come forward, she said.

Gilleon said his client did not want to "take the city down.'' However, the claim demanded $500,000 plus attorney's fees.

He said McKenzie, who has worked for the city for 32 years, had not decided whether to sue until she heard Filner's resignation speech Friday, in which he apologized but also denied accusations of sexual harassment. His client came to him in tears and decided to file the claim, he said.

McKenzie was the second of three city employees to accuse the mayor of making unwanted sexual advances toward them.

The first, Irene McCormack Jackson, hired Los Angeles-based lawyer Gloria Allred and sued on July 22. McCormack Jackson, the mayor's communications director at the time, 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.

It was mediation over her lawsuit that led the 70-year-old mayor to resign after less than nine months in office.

A third city employee, 67-year-old great-grandmother Peggy Shannon, said Aug. 15 that Filner kissed her and repeatedly asked her for dates.

They're among nearly 20 women who have made similar accusations.

The City Council agreed to help defend the mayor against lawsuits arising from city employees, volunteers or contractors in exchange for his stepping down.

Comments

Avatar for user 'nickdavis'

nickdavis | August 27, 2013 at 9:44 a.m. ― 1 year ago

500k? sad.

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Avatar for user 'philosopher3000'

philosopher3000 | August 27, 2013 at 11:02 a.m. ― 1 year ago

Whew... that's a relief. I thought there would be a bunch of frivolous, expensive lawsuits filed against the City after this media lynching and political coupe. Only $500000 that's chump change. You can't even buy a house in this City with that. I only hope the settlement compensates her for being asked in public out by the Mayor.

Glad she didn't mention this incident last April, or any other time up to now. Guess it's not worth risking her City job until it's a slam-dunk. Wonder how much it would cost to buy a witness or two in these tough economic times? (next time one of you video with your cell phone and you're guaranteed a victory)

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