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Woman Says Filner Grabbed, Kissed Her During Meeting

A 72-year-old woman is reporting in a sworn affidavit that San Diego Mayor Bob Filner grabbed her and kissed her when she met with him to discuss a downtown financial concern earlier this year.

Aired 7/15/13 on KPBS News.

She says in an affidavit that the incident took place during the mayor's regular meetings with members of the public.

City of San Diego

Mayor Bob Filner addresses allegations of sexual harassment in a video.

"That sort of behavior by a public official is simply incomprehensible and in my view, it ought to be criminal if it is not already," said lawyer Cory Briggs, who is representing the woman.

The woman did not want her name to be made public.

"She was horrified and humiliated by the experience," Briggs said. "The man she thought would champion her cause betrayed her trust."

Briggs said the incident she reported to him took place during a meeting with the mayor on a Saturday earlier this year. Filner schedules office hours on certain Saturdays at City Hall to meet with members of the public who have concerns about city issues.

Briggs said the woman stated in a sworn affidavit that the first thing the mayor did when they were left alone in the meeting room was ask her if she was single.

The woman said she responded by telling Filner he had a "very beautiful fiancee."

The alleged victim contends Filner then said, "I'd like you to go out with me. May I kiss you?"

The woman said that right after he asked the question, Filner immediately grabbed her and began kissing her. The woman, according to the affidavit, said she pushed herself away and left the room very upset.

"It should go without saying that his comments and physical contact were — to put it kindly — extremely unwelcome," the woman said, according to the sworn affidavit.

Filner's spokeswoman Lena Lewis did not respond to a request for comment.

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Avatar for user 'aztec69'

aztec69 | July 15, 2013 at 9:14 a.m. ― 3 years, 8 months ago

This sounds like a remake of "What do you do when you catch two little kids playing doctor?"

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Avatar for user 'simonthegreat'

simonthegreat | July 15, 2013 at 9:34 a.m. ― 3 years, 8 months ago


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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | July 15, 2013 at 10:27 a.m. ― 3 years, 8 months ago

"That sort of behavior by a public official is simply incomprehensible and in my view, it ought to be criminal if it is not already," said lawyer Cory Briggs, who is representing the woman.

This man is a lawyer representing a reported incident in this area of law, shouldn't he know if it's a criminal offense or not??

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Avatar for user 'Pookster1'

Pookster1 | July 15, 2013 at 11:11 a.m. ― 3 years, 8 months ago

San Diego City Hall needs a serious enema! The politics being played out by all members involved is embarassing to the City.

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Avatar for user 'philosopher3000'

philosopher3000 | July 15, 2013 at 12:16 p.m. ― 3 years, 8 months ago

Well, now we know what SHE said, let's hear what HE said?

No one apparently SAW or RECORDED this alleged conduct, and we only have her heavily emotionally biased account. This sounds like a common Republican scheme to destroy the politician. Without knowing the source, we can't judge the credibility of that source. This is likely a personal relationship issue, not a public office issue. If this person chose to drive the mayor to his next destination, AFTER the alleged kiss, then she wasn't too upset.

If I was in this situation (and like most people I've been there), I'd just explain that the suitor's feelings were not reciprocated and that I was only interested in a professional relationship. If there was any thought that such a romantic rejection would affect our professional business, I would simply put such concern in writing, in a private letter to the Mayor, and keep that as proof, incase there were any blow-back from the romantic fall-out.

If this ALLEGED VICTIM doesn't think this is important enough to make herself known, then I presume it's just a lover's spat, and not important enough to destroy the City, the election, and Mayor Filner.

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Avatar for user 'ConcernedCitizen2'

ConcernedCitizen2 | July 15, 2013 at 4:56 p.m. ― 3 years, 8 months ago

The so-called "office" that is set up in the lobby of the administration building is an open cubicle, at least it was in February. Its not a meeting room. Perhaps they changed it? There are staffers taking notes, security and news media all over the place. Unlikely that they would leave the Mayor along with a walk in off the street during Saturday "office hours". Besides, I thought that the Mayor preferred younger women like his ex-fiancé. Don't have any first hand knowledge, but it doesn't sound right. Have they published the affidavit from this 72 year old?

Overall, with all of the noise, it sounds like Mayor Filner may have some impulse control issues and need to learn about appropriateness. He's a human and needs support and help, no different than anyone having personal struggles and working for the City. Take a breathe folks.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | July 15, 2013 at 5:23 p.m. ― 3 years, 8 months ago

I'm amazed by those who are already attacking the women who were harassed especially philosopher3000 who has been attempting to discredit them from the get go.

This is exactly why they don't want to be named publicly. The Democrat establishment will tear them apart, ruin their careers, and socially isolate them.

I'm glad there are strong and well respected Democrats who used to be apart of that establishment like Donna Frye who are willing to stand up or them.

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Avatar for user 'Witness'

Witness | July 15, 2013 at 6:09 p.m. ― 3 years, 8 months ago

I've attended Saturday meetings. There is not a meeting room - the meetings take place in the bottom floor lobby. There is a divider on two sides, but that is where city staff and the Mayor sit on the occasions that I have been there. The side where constituents are seated backs up to the window and the entire area is open on the east side where other staff, press, and police have open views - if nothing more - for the Mayor's protection. So whatever took place, if anything, had to be within view. The alleged victim would have to explain why the facts of this setting don't apply for me to find the story credible.

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Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | July 16, 2013 at 5:13 p.m. ― 3 years, 8 months ago

Not looking good for Filner. This is a classic example of a person who has been in office most of his life (he's never lost a political race) and unaccustomed to being held accountable for his behavior. How many times has this happened and gone unnoticed?

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