Gloria Allred, Irene McCormack Jackson react to Filner resignation

City attorney says mediation in lawsuit continues

SAN DIEGO - Attorney Gloria Allred and her client, Irene McCormack Jackson, issued statements in response to Bob Filner's resignation.

Allred said:

"I want to congratulate my client Irene McCormack Jackson. The mediation which resulted in the Mayor's resignation was a mediation of Irene's lawsuit against Mayor Filner and the City of San Diego. If Irene had not come forward and if we had not filed a lawsuit on her behalf, I think it is fair to say that instead of resigning today the Mayor Filner would still be engaging in the same despicable, harassing and sexually inappropriate conduct which led Irene, followed by 17 other women, to come forward to complain about the Mayor's conduct.

We are delighted that the Mayor has resigned. I hope that we never see another elected official who thinks that he can target women and sexually harass them in the way that Mayor Filner did. Women employees should not be preyed upon by their bosses, particularly elected officials. We salute and commend Irene for having had the courage to bring her lawsuit against the Mayor. I asked for the Mayor to resign at three separate press conferences of women who were harassed by him, and at a rally in San Diego last Sunday. Today, I am thankful that he has finally resigned.

Today is a day of reckoning for Mayor Filner and a day of vindication for his many alleged victims, 18 of whom have come forward. Though Mayor Filner still continues to live in his own reality and deny responsibility for the conduct which we allege in our lawsuit, the fact is that he has done what was absolutely needed. He has resigned and that is what is most important.

The Mayor, in his resignation speech, took credit for protecting seals during his term as Mayor. Unfortunately, he failed to give as much protection to the women who came into contact with him as he gave to the seals. Women were at risk when they were near the Mayor.

The City Council should now focus its energy and attention on resolving Irene's claims against the City of San Diego and the Mayor so that it can move on."

McCormack Jackson said:

"I'm relieved the City has rid itself of Bob Filner so that he will not be in a position to prey on any more women. My thoughts are with the courageous women, who because they spoke out, galvanized the residents of this great city and its elected leaders to rise up against a serial sexual harasser and a gross abuser of power. Bye bye, Bob. You will not be missed."

Meanwhile, mediation efforts in McCormack Jackson's sexual harassment lawsuit filed against the outgoing mayor and the city of San Diego will continue, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said Friday.

The litigation, filed by McCormack Jackson on July 22, opened the floodgates for numerous women to contend they were also sexually harassed by Filner.

McCormack Jackson, the mayor's former communications director, alleged he told her she should work without her panties on, that he wanted to see her naked and that he could not wait to consummate their relationship.

Filner also allegedly demanded kisses from McCormack Jackson and put his arm around her and dragged her along in a headlock while making sexual remarks.

Since she stepped forward, 17 other women have alleged unwanted advances, groping, or in some instances, forced kissing from the mayor. The other women include a retired admiral and two female veterans who say they were harassed at a meeting for women who had been raped during their military service.

None of them have sued.

On Thursday, Allred said the deal reached in three days of mediation between city officials and the mayor did not involve their lawsuit.

However, Goldsmith said mediation for the city's part of the lawsuit will take place, overseen by Judge J. Lawrence Irving. The next court hearing is scheduled for Sept. 16.

According to terms of the city's settlement with the outgoing mayor, the City Attorney's Office will jointly defend the city and Filner against claims by current or former municipal employees, volunteers or contractors. The city reserves the right to seek reimbursement of damages from Filner.

The terms also include a $98,000 cap on city payments for outside counsel to defend Filner.

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