Legal experts weigh in on Mayor Bob Filner's apology

Attorneys say city could face civil lawsuits

SAN DIEGO - Legal experts weight in on Mayor Bob Filner's scripted apology, calling his statement a quick response to the sexual allegations he faced this week.

John Adler with Littler Mendelson firm tells 10News he was surprised by how fast the apology came.

“I think it was just the speed of the apology [that surprised me],” Adler said. “It’s rare that a CEO or anyone at the top of an organization is going to so immediately recognize that it’s a problem that needs to be corrected.”

But legal analysts say Filner’s videotaped statement is too vague to be used as evidence in the court. With few details on the victims and their allegations, Professor David Steinberg said it’s more likely the city could be facing civil lawsuits.

“Cities can be liable in a civil action only if there is some kind of policy, in other words some kind of pattern of illegal conduct,” Steinberg said. “If I were the attorney representing the victim who was planning to sue the mayor for some kind of sexual harassment, I would be suing the city alleging there is some kind of policy practice that this would certainly be evidence of that.”

 

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