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Jury Selection Begins In Filner Sexual Harassment Trial

Photo credit: Associated Press

Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, right, sits with his lawyer, Earll Pott, in Superior Court Judge Robert J. Trentacosta's courtroom, Dec. 9, 2013.

Jury selection began today in the trial of a lawsuit against former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, alleging he sexually harassed a city parks employee.

Stacie McKenzie claims in her lawsuit that Filner grabbed her from behind in April 2013, put his arm around her neck in what some called "the Filner headlock," and rubbed her breasts in Mission Bay Park.

McKenzie also alleges that Filner made inappropriate comments about her appearance and asked her on a date.

Attorneys for the city of San Diego and Filner said his actions were outside the scope of his job as mayor and the city took immediate action when it learned of the allegations.

McKenzie's lawsuit is one of two unresolved suits against Filner, who resigned in August 2013.

The city and Filner have paid more than $1 million to settle five other sexual harassment lawsuits.

In August 2013 — less than a year after he was elected mayor — Filner pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery and felony false imprisonment. He was sentenced to three months on house arrest.

Opening statements are expected next week.

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