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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.

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

Photo credit: 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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Photo of Amita Sharma

Amita Sharma
Investigative Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksAs an investigative reporter for KPBS, I've helped expose political scandals and dug into intractable issues like sex trafficking. I've raised tough questions about how government treats foster kids. I've spotlighted the problem of pollution in poor neighborhoods. And I've chronicled corporate mistakes and how the public sometimes ends up paying for them.

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