Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Another Filner case settled...sort of

Plaintiffs' lawyer wins settlement and drops hammer on city attorney's office

Bob Filner
Bob Filner

Carla DiMare represented former Marine Katherine Ragazzino and her nurse Michelle Tyler in a sexual harassment lawsuit she filed against former San Diego mayor Bob Filner.

A week after winning a settlement in the case for the wounded Marine and her nurse, DiMare says the city could have saved three-quarters of a million dollars to settle it more than two years ago for the same amount of money.

Ragazzino and Tyler met with Filner in June of 2013 in hopes of Filner helping to procure disability benefits for injuries Ragazzino suffered during multiple tours in the Middle East. Filner, instead, allegedly said he would help in exchange for sexual favors from Ragazzino's nurse. The women filed a lawsuit in January 2014.

Last week, San Diego city councilmembers agreed to settle the lawsuit by paying Ragazzino and Tyler $99,000.

On November 5, DiMare announced that the two women also settled in their case against Filner. In the announcement, DiMare shared some harsh criticism for the city attorney and his office.

The attorney claimed that attorneys for the city rejected a similar settlement offer years ago. Instead of accepting the offer, attorneys for the city opted to harass and denigrate the Marine and her nurse, said DiMare, claiming that city attorney Jan Goldsmith was aware that Filner had problems and needed therapy.

"For the past two years the city attorney’s office has threatened and harassed these female victims, a wounded warrior and her nurse, and tried to discredit them," reads a November 5 statement from DiMare.

"During that time the city attorney wasted at least $750,000 of taxpayer money. This case could have settled two years ago for same amount the city council recently approved. However, the city attorney rejected pre-filing mediation, even though he had essentially admitted liability. Money wasted by the city attorney’s office could have been spent improving roads and bridges, modernizing firefighting equipment, helping veterans or financially poor seniors, or any number of worthy community projects. The city can do better.

"The women’s claims against the city included that city employees knew Filner was out of control and did nothing to warn the female victims; and the city failed to timely give sex harassment training to at least 30 city employees in violation of the law."

Executive assistant city attorney Paul Cooper says otherwise. Cooper believes DiMare is tasting "sour grapes" because she and her clients did not get what they wanted.

"Our deputy who handled this case, George Schaefer, is a very experienced lawyer who did an outstanding job and acted professionally in defending the city. No one was threatened."

Added Cooper, "The claimed $750,000 cost is untrue. The city attorney's office did what we always do: we defended the city. The city did not use outside counsel and, thus, did not incur any attorney fees."

In addition, Cooper says that his office is barred from disclosing the previous settlement offer but it was far more than the $99,000 that her clients received.

"Federal court rules preclude us from disclosing demands made in mediation, but we'd be more than happy to do so if this lawyer files a stipulation allowing such disclosure and the judge allows it. This $99,000 settlement made financial sense to the city because of anticipated costs of medical experts should the case have gone to trial. Under this settlement, there is no additional payment to cover the fees of the attorney. Apparently, that does not sit well with the attorney.

"This case arose from a dark period in San Diego's history. By settling this case, the city on behalf of all residents has bought some peace and moved one step closer to getting this behind us."

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Dead Cross cover Black Flag’s “Rise Above” in solidarity with Black Lives Matter

Jonny Tarr, Dead Cross, Electric Mud, Howard Blank’s Outsiders, Trees
Next Article

The Harrison G. Otis House: a Tudor Revival residence

Much of the craftsmanship and styling cues of the era remain
Bob Filner
Bob Filner

Carla DiMare represented former Marine Katherine Ragazzino and her nurse Michelle Tyler in a sexual harassment lawsuit she filed against former San Diego mayor Bob Filner.

A week after winning a settlement in the case for the wounded Marine and her nurse, DiMare says the city could have saved three-quarters of a million dollars to settle it more than two years ago for the same amount of money.

Ragazzino and Tyler met with Filner in June of 2013 in hopes of Filner helping to procure disability benefits for injuries Ragazzino suffered during multiple tours in the Middle East. Filner, instead, allegedly said he would help in exchange for sexual favors from Ragazzino's nurse. The women filed a lawsuit in January 2014.

Last week, San Diego city councilmembers agreed to settle the lawsuit by paying Ragazzino and Tyler $99,000.

On November 5, DiMare announced that the two women also settled in their case against Filner. In the announcement, DiMare shared some harsh criticism for the city attorney and his office.

The attorney claimed that attorneys for the city rejected a similar settlement offer years ago. Instead of accepting the offer, attorneys for the city opted to harass and denigrate the Marine and her nurse, said DiMare, claiming that city attorney Jan Goldsmith was aware that Filner had problems and needed therapy.

"For the past two years the city attorney’s office has threatened and harassed these female victims, a wounded warrior and her nurse, and tried to discredit them," reads a November 5 statement from DiMare.

"During that time the city attorney wasted at least $750,000 of taxpayer money. This case could have settled two years ago for same amount the city council recently approved. However, the city attorney rejected pre-filing mediation, even though he had essentially admitted liability. Money wasted by the city attorney’s office could have been spent improving roads and bridges, modernizing firefighting equipment, helping veterans or financially poor seniors, or any number of worthy community projects. The city can do better.

"The women’s claims against the city included that city employees knew Filner was out of control and did nothing to warn the female victims; and the city failed to timely give sex harassment training to at least 30 city employees in violation of the law."

Executive assistant city attorney Paul Cooper says otherwise. Cooper believes DiMare is tasting "sour grapes" because she and her clients did not get what they wanted.

"Our deputy who handled this case, George Schaefer, is a very experienced lawyer who did an outstanding job and acted professionally in defending the city. No one was threatened."

Added Cooper, "The claimed $750,000 cost is untrue. The city attorney's office did what we always do: we defended the city. The city did not use outside counsel and, thus, did not incur any attorney fees."

In addition, Cooper says that his office is barred from disclosing the previous settlement offer but it was far more than the $99,000 that her clients received.

"Federal court rules preclude us from disclosing demands made in mediation, but we'd be more than happy to do so if this lawyer files a stipulation allowing such disclosure and the judge allows it. This $99,000 settlement made financial sense to the city because of anticipated costs of medical experts should the case have gone to trial. Under this settlement, there is no additional payment to cover the fees of the attorney. Apparently, that does not sit well with the attorney.

"This case arose from a dark period in San Diego's history. By settling this case, the city on behalf of all residents has bought some peace and moved one step closer to getting this behind us."

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

San Diego's punk music, goodbye to Lennon

Reader writers tell favorite music
Next Article

Dead Cross cover Black Flag’s “Rise Above” in solidarity with Black Lives Matter

Jonny Tarr, Dead Cross, Electric Mud, Howard Blank’s Outsiders, Trees
Comments
3

City attorney Goldsmith has a history of wasting taxpayer money. Hopefully he won't hold another public office after this one. ... Attorney Cooper, quoted above, sounds like he's willing to say anything to protect his boss, even if it's not true. He claims Goldsmith didn't hire outside counsel, so he didn't spend taxpayer money. Really? Were all the city employees who worked on the case working for free? Then Cooper claims they "defended the city." But the city was liable (which is why it settled), so the city attorney shouldn't have spent years fighting it and wasting taxpayer money. The incompetence and untruthfullness coming out of this city attorney's office is embarrassing. And what does the city council do about it? Nothing.

Nov. 10, 2015

What do you suggest the Council should do about an elected City Attorney?

Nov. 10, 2015

The San Diego city charter article VIII section 128 permits the city council and others to investigate whoever directs or participates in the waste or misuse of taxpayer money. Or, the city auditor can investigate waste. Or, any city employee can be disciplined for misuse of tax payer money, fiscal inefficiency, or similar conduct.

Nov. 11, 2015

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close