City Council To Set Special Election Date
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The City Council is scheduled today to set a special election to fill the post of outgoing Mayor Bob Filner, whose resignation becomes official at 5 p.m. Friday.
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.
The City Clerk's Office has proposed scheduling the vote for Nov. 19. If approved, candidates would have to file by Sept. 20.
The council's special meeting comes one day after a lawyer for the third woman to bring legal action against the city of San Diego demanded $250,000 for his client.
Attorney Daniel Gilleon told City News Service that his client, whom he identified only as Marilyn, accuses the mayor of kissing her at a May event at Johnson Elementary School in Emerald Hills. He said she had asked the mayor to send archival material to a May event at Johnson Elementary in Emerald Hills, but he showed up instead.
According to the lawyer, his client poked her head in a classroom when Filner arrived to announce his presence, and the encounter took place when she returned.
"He grabs her face and plants a kiss on her forehead,'' according to Gilleon, who said his client was "in shock.''
Filner also demanded her last name and took too long trying to remove an adhesive name tag from her chest, according to the lawyer, who said the mayor also put his hand around her waist and tried to walk her away.
Parts of the incident were witnessed by another woman and a boy looking out the window, according to Gilleon. He said a member of the mayor's security detail was there at the time.
The city's response to the demand will determine whether he files a lawsuit on behalf of the woman, a 34-year employee of the state who is a secretary to a workers' compensation judge. She also serves as an advocate for domestic violence victims in the South Bay, he said.
Gilleon also represents Stacy McKenzie, the district manager for city-run Mission Bay Park, on whose behalf he filed a $500,000 claim on Monday.
McKenzie, 50, first went public with her accusations on Aug. 8, alleging 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.
McKenzie's claim says the mayor acted "for his own sexual gratification.'' It also accuses the city of failing to warn employees of Filner's "predatory nature'' and protect them from it.
Gilleon said he is asking for more money for McKenzie than Marilyn because McKenzie is a municipal employee.
The city can choose to accept or deny the women's claims. If the claims are denied, the woman may file a lawsuit.
The city has already been sued by Irene McCormack Jackson, Filner's former communications director, who alleges Filner told her she should work without panties on, that he wanted to see her naked and could not wait to consummate their relationship.
McCormack Jackson -- the first of the 19 women to come forward -- also alleges Filner 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 former Democratic congressman to resign after less than nine months in office. He officially step down at 5 p.m. Friday.
Eight candidates have expressed their intention to run in the special election, including ex-Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher. Now an executive with Qualcomm, he finished third in the June 2012 mayoral primary.
Other candidates who have filed intention forms are Paul Michael Dekker, who, according to his website, is director of information technology at the San Diego-based nonprofit Global Energy Network Institute; Jared Mimms, who says on his LinkedIn page that he has founded or co-founded four companies; psychiatrist Ashok Parameswaran; website owner Tobiah Pettus; Kurt Schwab, who founded an organization for veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq; Mark Schwartz, a Libertarian activist who created a Facebook page for his campaign last month; and David Tasem, who operates a taxicab business.
The council will also take a look at amending the city's law on recall elections.
A state requirement that a voter had to answer whether an officeholder should be recalled before their selection of a replacement candidate is counted was struck down as unconstitutional by a federal judge 10 years ago. San Diego's section on recalls includes similar language and was never updated.
City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said the municipal law is currently unconstitutional. Some observers said Filner could have used that fact as a loophole to get a recall against him overturned had he tried to remain in office.