Second city employee accuses mayor of sexual harassment
SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The second city of San Diego employee to accuse Bob
Filner of sexual harassment said Thursday the mayor asked her for a date and put
her in a headlock at a city event.
The woman used only her first name — Stacy — during an interview on
KOGO radio with hosts Chip Franklin and LaDona Harvey. She said she was a
single mother who had been a city employee for 32 years when, in April, Filner
came to a function held by the small department she manages.
She said she introduced herself to Filner, who stepped aside to be
interviewed by a high school journalism student but kept looking at her in a
leering way that made her uncomfortable. Later he returned and asked her to go
to lunch, she said.
“Then he took both my hands and he held them — and he holds them kind
of around the wrists and around the hands, kind of so you can't move,” Stacy
told the station.
She said his tight grip seemed less sexual and more about control.
“And he said, `I just want to make this clear, I'm not asking you out
on a business lunch, I'm asking you out for a date,”' Stacy said.
He said whenever he saw a beautiful woman, he always had to go talk to
her, according to the employee.
Stacy became the 14th woman to publicly describe unwanted advances from
Filner. Some of the other women said he groped them and tried to kiss them.
Earlier this week, two women said he made passes at them at a function
for female military veterans who had been raped while in the service.
Filner is undergoing behavioral therapy — which a psychologist
described as “intensive” — at an undisclosed location. The mayor apologized
for his conduct but denied that it was sexual harassment.
Stacy said she felt “rattled” by Filner's request and told her two
staffers about the “really weird” encounter.
However, Filner approached her from behind and put each arm around her
in what she now knows as the “Filner Headlock,” she said.
“He clamped it on, so I was basically encased in his grip,” Stacy
said. “At that moment, I froze, because he started to loosen his chokehold and
his elbow was getting dangerously low to the front of my body. I didn't know
how low he was going to drop it. It was inching toward the chest.”
Her two staffers witnessed Filner's actions and he told them,”I like to
get really close to my city employees,” she said.
Stacy said she told Filner she was getting embarrassed, so he wandered off.
She said she filed two complaints against Filner and is awaiting their
The other city worker to step forward, former mayoral Communications
Director Irene McCormack Jackson, hired Los Angeles-based women's rights
attorney Gloria Allred and sued Filner and the city.
Wednesday, lawyers for Filner moved to have the case moved to Imperial
County because of media coverage that has been “widespread, unrelenting,
intense and outspoken.”
Allred said she would oppose the motion in a court hearing set for Sept.
16 in San Diego Superior Court.
Filner has so far rebuffed numerous calls for his resignation from
political and business leaders, including seven of the nine members of the City
Council, the San Diego County Democratic Party Central Committee, former Mayor
Jerry Sanders, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-
Los Angeles and Senate Majority Leader Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento.