Jeff Smith 4 p.m., Feb. 26
Mayor Filner's lawyer wants sexual harassment case moved to Imperial County
Filner wants case moved due to media frenzy surrounding the case.
Mayor Bob Filner is asking that the sexual harassment case filed by former Communications Director Irene McCormack Jackson be heard in Imperial County.
Harvey Berger filed a motion on August 6 to move the case from San Diego County due to the media frenzy surrounding the case.
"A change in venue is necessary because publication of the allegations of sexual harassment against Mayor Filner have been so widespread, unrelenting, intense, and outspoken that there is reason to believe that an impartial trial cannot be had in San Diego. Thus, Mayor Filner seeks to have venue transferred to nearby Imperial County."
In addition to concerns about the venue, Berger says attorneys for the City, as well as Gloria Allred, purposely scheduled Filner's deposition while the he was receiving treatment.
"I responded to Mr. Cordileone stating, again, that Mr. Filner is not available for deposition on August 9, 2013 because he will be in a full-time treatment program during the two-week period from August 5-16. I told Mr. Cordileone that Mayor Filner would make himself available after he returns from treatment and asked if he would withdraw the subpoena..."
Cordileone from the City Attorney's Office rejected the request. On July 26, the chief deputy attorney responded with the following email:
This is to let you know we just served a deposition subpoena on Mayor Filner for August 9, 2013, It is the one we served on your office yesterday. I gave the instruction to personally serve him because it would be difficult if not impossible to compel his attendance or seek sanctions for his non-attendance if the only service we had was a deposition notice to his attorney in a case where neither he nor his attorney has appeared.
I regret to say that I cannot extend to you the customary professional courtesy of an extension of time on the date for the deposition. I gather from the message you sent yesterday afternoon that you intend to object to the deposition subpoena. My client requires formal notice of the basis for your objection. This is because any delay will cause additional damage to the City.
The Mayor is quoted in the paper as having said: "Let us get this into a process where everybody, including myself, has a way to make a fair statement, to talk about their view of things, and there's an Impartial Investigation and discovery Let's take a deep breath and let that process work itself out. Meanwhile, we'e got a city to run."
His deposition is a key part of the process lie will have an opportunity to make a fair statement, and until we hear from him. it is nearly impossible for anyone to run this City. His absence during this critical period does no one any good. If you intend to seek an ex parte order shortening time for a motion to quash, just let me know when we need to make our appearance and get me your moving papers as soon as you can.
Accompanying Berger's motion is a brief, heavily redacted letter from an unnamed psychologist.
"To Whom It May Concern;
Robert Filner is currently under my care in an intensive treatment program and will be unavailable for deposition on August 9, 2013.
The lawyers will appear in court tomorrow to discuss the motion to change the venue and setting a new date for a deposition.
"For the foregoing reasons, Mayor Filner respectfully requests this Court issue an order quashing the deposition subpoena and staying the deposition to a date no earlier than 30 days after he has been served with the Complaint. Mayor Filner further requests an order that his deposition testimony not be publicly disseminated in order to protect his right to an impartial trial."
Click here to read the entire motion.
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