Sexual harassment suit against ex-Mayor Filner settled for $250,000
SAN DIEGO -- The sexual harassment lawsuit that was at the center of the scandal that drove ex-Mayor Bob Filner from office has been settled out of court for $250,000, city officials announced Monday.
The deal settles all claims, including for attorney fees and damages, by Filner’s onetime director of communications, City Atty. Jan Goldsmith said at a news conference.
The lawsuit, filed in July by attorney Gloria Allred on behalf of Irene McCormack Jackson, represented the first time a woman publicly accused Filner of harassment. Prior allegations had been made anonymously.
The City Council approved the settlement in closed session.
A month after the lawsuit was filed, Filner agreed to resign, in exchange for the city’s representing him in the Jackson lawsuit and paying legal fees and any settlement reached.
Filner, 71, resigned Aug. 30 after more than 20 women accused him of sexually harassing them.
In her lawsuit, Jackson, 57, said that Filner made unwanted physical advances and lewd comments and that he once told her she would do better if she came to work without panties.
Acting Mayor Todd Gloria immediately praised the settlement.
Jackson “deserves the gratitude of our city for standing up courageously against treatment no one should ever endure,” Gloria said.
The Jackson lawsuit had been set for trial in February 2015.
“This settlement avoids a year of intense and expensive litigation that probably would have cost the parties more than this settlement and would have been grueling for all parties,” Goldsmith said.
Two other sexual harassment lawsuits have been filed against Filner, as well as a claim, which is often the precursor to a lawsuit.
Jackson, a longtime San Diego journalist and then communications employee for the San Diego Port District, took a pay cut to work for Filner after his election in November 2012 as the city’s first Democratic mayor in two decades.
Soon she became disillusioned with Filner’s treatment of women, she has said.
The settlement comes the day before a special election between Councilman David Alvarez and Councilman Kevin Faulconer to fill the remaining 33 months of Filner’s term.
Jackson is set to leave city employment April 1, by her own decision. “We did not push her out,” Goldsmith said.
Allred and Jackson set a news conference for Tuesday morning to discuss the settlement.
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