San Diego Settles a Filner Lawsuit For $250,000

SAN DIEGO (CN) - San Diego settled one of the sexual harassment claims against former Mayor Bob Filner for $250,000.
     Irene McCormack Jackson, a former Filner aide who accused her boss of sexual harassment, settled with the city and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said Monday that the City Council approved the settlement unanimously.
     Filner, 71, is not liable for any of the money, which includes legal fees.
     "There are no hanging issues," Goldsmith told U-T San Diego. "It's a lump sum agreement."
     Goldsmith praised McCormack Jackson going public with her claims in July 2013.
     "This was very tough for her," Goldsmith said.
     After she filed her lawsuit in Superior Court, McCormack Jackson called her six months in the Filner administration "the worst time of my entire working life."
     "I had to work and do my job in an atmosphere where women were viewed by Mayor Filner as sexual objects or stupid idiots," she said. "I saw him place his hands where they did not belong on numerous women."
     Goldsmith said Filner's former communications director will leave her city job on April 1.
     McCormack was among 18 women who came forward with allegations, leading to Filner's resignation in August 2013.
     A veteran journalist and former executive for the Port of San Diego, McCormack Jackson claimed Filner asked her to work without panties, dragged her around in a "Filner headlock" and whispered sexual comments in her ear.
     In a second lawsuit , City parks official Stacy McKenzie claimed Filner touched her breasts and subjected her to his signature headlock.
     This year disabled veteran Katherine Ragazzino and her nurse Michelle Tyler filed a sexual harassment claim against San Diego and Filner, claiming the mayor offered to help the disabled vet if Tyler performed sexual favors for him.
     Goldsmith hinted that the city may reach settlements with the plaintiffs in the two other lawsuits.
     "We'll be living with the additional claims and working through them," Goldsmith said.
     Filner pleaded guilty in October 2013 to a felony charge of grabbing a woman in a headlock. Prosecutors filed misdemeanor battery charges, alleging that Filner kissed one victim and grabbed another woman by the buttocks.
     Superior Court Judge Robert Trentacosta on Dec. 9 ordered Filner to wear a GPS monitor and spend 90 days under house arrest. The judge cut the Democrat's pension and ordered him to pay a $1,500 fine. Filner cannot run for political office during his three years of probation but avoided jail time.
     Interim Mayor Todd Gloria said he was happy the city had reached a settlement with McCormack Jackson and said the city could now "move forward beyond the actions of our previous mayor."
     "Irene McCormack Jackson deserves the gratitude of our city for standing up courageously against treatment no one should ever endure," Gloria said.
     Her attorney Gloria Allred did not immediately respond to a request for comment.