Former Filner Intern: Mayor's Staff Witnessed Alleged Harassment
KPBS has learned a 23-year-old San Diego man who served as a communications intern in the mayor's office earlier this year claims that he witnessed Mayor Bob Filner sexually harass women.
KPBS obtained a legal declaration filed with attorney Marco Gonzalez, in which the intern, Christopher J. Baker, alleges that members of Filner's security detail knew of sexual harassment — and in some cases, watched it happen — but did not stop it.
During a press conference in La Jolla, the mayor began talking to one woman, Baker alleges. Baker wrote that he heard Filner tell the woman she was beautiful and ask about her relationship status.
Baker, in his statement, said he felt uncomfortable watching the exchange and confronted a member of Filner's security detail about it.
"I...asked him about the seemingly inappropriate nature in which the Mayor was conducting himself," Baker wrote. "The officer responded 'You know CJ, this is the hardest part of my job, watching him do this.'"
Baker said he also witnessed the mayor with women, being "very touchy, in a way that he never is with men."
Baker stated "Aside from the Mayor loosely using the word, 'bitch' in the context of women, the physical contact is what I noticed most."
On another occasion, Filner was set to fill in as host for a morning radio show featuring who Baker called "a high level education administrator."
Baker's statement alleges that after the show, "the Mayor disappeared with her down a dark hallway beyond unlit cubicles.
"As the Mayor disappeared behind a corner, a member of the Mayor's security detail came running up to me and asked where he went. I responded by explaining that he was down the dark hallway with the woman, after which the member of the detail let our a defeated sigh and awaited the Mayor's return."
Baker said he told the mayor's spokeswoman, Lená Lewis, and she urged him to tell her if anything like that happened again.
Baker's unpaid internship in the mayor's office began in May and was to last through the middle of August. However, he has left the mayor's office because he "decided that it compromised my moral compass too much to continue working in that environment.
"It's not how my father raised me to behave around women."