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Bob Filner faces new harassment claim from longtime city employee

Laws and LegislationSexual MisconductElectionsBob FilnerJustice System

SAN DIEGO -- A longtime city employee will file a legal action against the city and Mayor Bob Filner accusing him of sexual harassment, according to the employee's attorney.

Attorney Dan Gilleon said the action will be for "battery, gender violence, sexual harassment and failure to provide sexual harassment training."

The employee's "dignity was stolen by the mayor at a city function," according to Gilleon.

The new action against Filner is a claim, not a lawsuit. A claim can be a forerunner to a lawsuit if a settlement is not reached.

Gilleon said he hopes City Atty. Jan Goldsmith will "negotiate a fair and balanced settlement."

On Friday, in his apologetic and yet defiant comments to the City Council, Filner attributed any sexual misconduct to "awkwardness and hubris" and his failed attempts to be friendly.

"I have never sexually harassed anyone," Filner said. "I had no intention to be offensive."

Filner's resignation as mayor is set for 5 p.m. Friday under a deal with the City Council in which the council will pay his expenses from a lawsuit brought by Irene McCormack Jackson, his former director of communications.

The council on Wednesday may set a schedule for a special election to find a replacement to fill the final three years of Filner's term.

Council President Todd Gloria, Councilman Kevin Faulconer, and former Councilman Carl DeMaio are considering a run for mayor. Former state Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher has filed with the city clerk to open an exploratory committee for a possible run.

Dist. Atty. Bonnie Dumanis and City Atty. Jan Goldsmith have said they will not be candidates. Other names being floated as possible candidates include former state Sen. Christine Kehoe and Red Cross chief executive Tony Young, both former council members.

The special election must be held within 90 days. If no candidate gets more than 50%, a runoff must be held within 49 days of the first election.

In a frenzied six-week period after the first anonymous allegations were made, 18 women went public with accusations that Filner subjected them to unwanted touching and sexually inappropriate comments. 

Among the 18 was Gilleon's client, parks department employee Stacy McKenzie, a city employee for 32 years.

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Twitter: @LATsandiego

tony.perry@latimes.com

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