Filner Sued by San Diego as|8th Woman Comes Forward

     SAN DIEGO (CN) – San Diego sued embattled Mayor Bob Filner over his former press secretary’s sexual harassment claims as an eighth woman came forward Tuesday with new accusations of sexual misconduct.
     The San Diego City Council filed a cross-complaint Tuesday against the 70-year-old mayor in state court. It wants a judge to order Filner to take responsibility for all damages and costs related to Irene McCormack Jackson’s July 22 lawsuit against the city and mayor.
     McCormack Jackson, the mayor’s former communications director, claimed Filner asked her to work without panties, grabbed her in a “Filner headlock” and whispered sexual comments in her ear.
     “The allegations of the complaint, if true, constitute a violation of city policies against sexual harassment,” according to the four-page cross-claim. “The City of San Diego maintains a zero tolerance policy as to sexual harassment and sexual harassment is not within the course and scope of employment.”
     The city filed its cross-claim as Lisa Curtin, an administrator at San Diego City College, came forward with new harassment accusations against Filner.
     She says Filner put his tongue on her cheek during a 2011 business meeting, when Filner was still a congressman. She claims he rotated her wedding ring and asked her out on a date.
     “He pulled my hand closer to him and he reached over to kiss me,” Curtin told the radio station KPBS in an exclusive interview. “I turned my head at that moment and on the side of my face, I got a very wet, saliva-filled kiss including feeling his tongue on my cheek.”
     City lawyers have met with potential witnesses in the McCormack Jackson case, the City Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
     City Attorney Jan Goldsmith and Filner have had a fractious relationship since the mayor took office. A government watchdog this month sued San Diego for records of a public spat between the two politicians, claiming they are “locked in what appears to many onlookers like a no-holds-barred political death spiral.”
     The counterclaim against Filner is “part of due process,” Goldsmith said Tuesday.
     “If Bob Filner engaged in unlawful conduct and the city is held liable, he will have to reimburse us every penny the city pays and its attorney fees,” Goldsmith said.
     Seven of nine council members and the local Democratic Party have reportedly urged Filner to resign, but he has refused. Late last week he announced he was entering a two-week behavioral therapy program.
     The city voted in a closed session Tuesday evening not to pay Filner’s legal costs.
     The mayor is represented by private attorney Harvey Berger of Pope, Berger & Williams. Berger could not immediately be reached for comment.
     “Intimidating women is not in Mayor Filner’s job description,” Councilman Kevin Faulconer told the Los Angeles Times. “His employers, the San Diego taxpayers, should not have to bail him out of the mess he’s created.”
     Filner will give his version of events at an Aug. 9 deposition, the City Attorney’s Office said.

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