Nurse comes forward, claims San Diego Mayor Bob Filner sexually harassed her

Michelle Tyler alleges incident happened June 11

SAN DIEGO - A nurse who takes care of an injured Marine came forward with attorney Gloria Allred Tuesday and claimed she was sexually harassed by Mayor Bob Filner in his office.

At a news conference Tuesday, Michelle Tyler said she arranged a meeting with the mayor, her Marine friend Katherine Ragazzino and an unidentified Veterans Administration representative.

Click here to read full statements from Tyler, Ragazzino and Allred (mobile users:

Allred said that at the meeting, Filner seemed willing to help Tyler, "but at a price."

She said the price was a "personal and sexual relationship" with the mayor.

"In other words, Mayor Filner wanted Ms. Tyler to help him fulfill his sexual needs if she wanted his help for a deserving war veteran," Allred said. "That is not only disgusting, but a complete abuse of power that should not be tolerated by the electorate."

Tyler said the purpose of the June 11, 2013, meeting was to try to get the mayor to help the Veterans Administration to give help to Ragazzino.

Once the meeting wrapped up, Tyler said the mayor asked everyone but her to leave the room.

She claimed Filner started "rubbing my arm and telling me to relax ... (it) was extremely inappropriate and unacceptable ... I was not there looking for a date."

Tyler said, "His help for Katherine depended on my willingness" to be with him and it was "absolutely unwanted."

Tyler started to sob when she said Filner should not have used his position of power for making unwanted advances.

"It is wrong, and that is why I am speaking out today," Tyler said.

"I don't appreciate being used as a bargaining chip to be used to fulfill his sexual desires," Ragazzino said.

Ragazzino said her brain injury from Iraq and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder had left her homeless.

"Mayor Filner has increased the stress level for both of us and made things worse," Ragazzino said.

Tyler first met with Filner when he was a congressman in 2011 and years later was still trying to get help for her friend.

Allred said there would be no lawsuit filed by Tyler, but she added they did have an appointment to speak with sheriff's investigators Tuesday afternoon at the attorney general's office.

Allred also said she has asked the City Attorney's Office to launch its own investigation into Tyler's experience.

"I think it's time for the city to post a warning sign outside the mayor's office warning women to proceed at their own risk ... that danger may lie ahead if they enter," Allred said. She later held up a sign as an example.

"I have been contacted by more women," said Allred, who also urged any woman with sexual harassment claims against Filner to call the sheriff's hotline.

The last time Allred held a news conference it was to announce Filner's former communications director, Irene McCormack Jackson, had filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him.

The mayor has denied all accusations of sexual harassment, but Tuesday was the second day of "intensive therapy" for his behavior towards women. The mayor has only admitted he had been "intimidating" and has refused to resign.

Print this article Back to Top