Walter Mencken 2:37 p.m., March 1
Questions about McCormack Jackson suit
And questions about the mayor's response to it.
The sexual harassment suit against Mayor Bob Filner filed today (July 22) by Irene McCormack Jackson raises many questions. First, the suit outlines extremely offensive statements allegedly made to her by the mayor in January, February, February/early March, April, late April/early May, and June. But there is no mention that I could find indicating that she officially complained until July 18, when she filed charges with the state about harassment having taken place on or before June 20, 2013. She would have had sexual harassment training at the Union-Tribune, probably at the Port, and maybe even at the City. It seems to me she had to know that she could come forward and file an official complaint about sexual harassment without fear of being fired. The "severe mental anguish and emotional distress" she allegedly suffered might have been abated had she complained or resigned earlier. She apparently saw inappropriate behavior against other women. She was a senior official. Did she do anything to protect those women? Much is being made that she took a $50,000 pay cut to join the mayor's staff. But that cut was from $175,000 to $125,000. She was not starving and did not desperately need a job.
Filner's carefully worded response to her lawsuit suggests that his defense will be that he was teasing. His statement seems to have been written by a lawyer: "I do not believe these claims are valid," he says, when it would have been more like Bob Filner to say, "These claims are not valid." He also makes a questionable statement: "My dreams and plans for moving this City to new heights are continuing." But by appointing the arch-conservative Walt Ekard as chief operating officer, and giving him authority over such functions as approving contracts and making hiring decisions, and enthusiastically endorsing the fatuous convention center expansion, Filner has already moved the City backward -- into the hands of the downtown corporate welfare autocrats. By reaching out to Republicans and other downtown overlords, he has already forsaken the principles that got him elected -- doing something about rundown neighborhoods and a rotting infrastructure, and steering much less money downtown for taxpayer-subsidized projects that should be financed with private capital.
Left largely unsaid is the health of Bob Filner, as well as the health of others with similar alleged proclivities who are involved with media coverage of this incident.
More like this:
- Filner accuser McCormack Jackson to get $250K — Feb. 10, 2014
- Allred and Filner lawyers agree to 30-day delay — Jan. 27, 2014
- Former Filner staffer asks for $1.48 million in damages — Nov. 22, 2013
- Filner, Goldsmith slated to meet tomorrow — Aug. 18, 2013
- Something fishy about Filner's accuser: where there is smoke there are mirrors — July 22, 2013