"Sometimes, justice is its own reward," said Turbo Attorney Gloria Allred at the City Ceremony honoring Peggy Shannon last week. "Other times, you get paid."
The ceremony was held to honor Ms. Shannon's decision to come forward and accuse then-Mayor Bob Filner of sexually harassing her, and also to apologize to her for what happened. And also, to thank her for accepting that apology and not suing the City, which is legally responsible for the Mayor's behavior.
"You showed character, integrity and courage in accepting this apology in lieu of money," Councilman Scott Sherman told Shannon. "I was brought up to believe that you do the right thing, and good things happen. Even if they don't necessarily happen to you. You did the right thing, and the City of San Diego has saved a bundle as a result."
City Attorney Jan Goldsmith called it an "absolute relief" to be allowed to read the apology instead of defending the City in court. "On behalf of the City of San Diego, we apologize to you for Mayor Filner's behavior. We admire you for coming forward. And we admire you even more for stepping backward in such an empty-handed fashion."
Allred, who served as Shannon's attorney until it became clear that no money was forthcoming, concluded that "San Diego may be the first city in the world who has publicly commended a citizen for standing up against sexual harassment by a City employee while simultaneously not paying her a dime. As a lawyer, I have to tip my hat."