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Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against San Diego Mayor

A former employee of San Diego's mayor, Bob Filner, has accused him of sexually harassing her, alleging that she was forced to resign after she said the mayor treated women as "sexual objects or stupid idiots." According to Irene McCormack Jackson, former communications director, "The past six months turned out to be the worst time of my entire working life." McCormack Jackson claims that Mayor Filner told her to work without panties, said he wanted to see her naked and couldn't wait to consummate their relationship even though they had only a working relationship. McCormack Jackson said that the Mayor seemed to believe it was "acceptable behavior to regularly make sexual comments that were crude and disgusting." She also alleges that Allen Jones, deputy chief of staff, resigned after a senior staff meeting in which the mayor was told that his behavior with women "was terrible and possibly illegal." According to McCormack Jackson, the mayor laughed off the warning. It was at that moment that McCormack Jackson said she finally came to accept that the Mayor would not change his behavior and that it was time for him to "take responsibility for the harm he caused me and for the damage he caused so many others who believed in him, supported him and elected him."

Some of the allegations outlined in the complaint are as follows:

● Moments before the State of the City address, Mayor Filner allegedly told McCormack Jackson "I would do a better job if you gave me a kiss."
● After seeing a police officer's handcuffcs, Mayor Filner allegedly told McCormack Jackson, "You know what I would like to do with those handcuffs?"
● Filner allegedly told McCormack Jackson "Wouldn't it be great if you took off your panties and worked without them on?"
● Filner allegedly put McCormack Jackson into a "headlock" and pulled her along with him telling her she was beautiful and asking when they would consummate their marriage.
● Filner put his arm around McCormack Jackson's shoulder and allegedly told her "One day we are going to get married."
● After proofing a press release in her office, he asked McCormack Jackson "When are you going to get naked? Come on, give me a kiss." It was this incident when McCormack Jackson claims Filner refused to leave her office telling her "I am the Mayor. I can go anywhere I want, any time I want."
● McCormack Jackson also alleges that three women "had to be driven home because of his abusive treatment" and five schedulers resigned because of his behavior.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department has launched a special hotline after Mayor Filner admitted to disrespecting and even intimidating women in the past. The hotline is available to anyone who wants to report sexual harassment allegations involving the mayor or his office.

Sexual harassment is particularly egregious form of employment discrimination. The attorneys at Schwartz Perry & Heller LLP are uniquely qualified to evaluate and handle such claims having been involved with New York's most groundbreaking sexual harassment cases such as Thoreson, McIntyre and Bracker, which are more fully described on the Schwartz Perry & Heller LLP website, www.schwartzandperry.com.

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