Local attorney tells 10News Filner lawsuit could cost taxpayers big money

SAN DIEGO - A local attorney tells 10News that if Mayor Bob Filner continues to stay in office and proclaim innocence, it could end up costing taxpayers big money in court.

"The city's got a problem obviously, which is... he's still the mayor," said attorney Dan Gilleon. "It would be a whole lot easier for the city to settle it if he were just gone."

Gilleon has handled many sexual harassment suits and says the last thing the city wants is to take Filner's accuser to a jury trial.

"If you get a jury mad ... that's when you get hit for large numbers," Gilleon said.

Large numbers meaning big dollar signs, which are the kind that the likes of Gloria Allred are famous for getting.

She represents city staffer, Irene McCormack Jackson, the first accuser to step up and file suit.

"His behavior made me feel ashamed, frightened and violated," Jackson read from a prepared statement at a news conference Monday.

In the same statement, Jackson claimed to be a victim of the now infamous "Filner headlock," where she alleges the mayor whispered sexual comments in her ear.

Hours after the news conference, Mayor Filner released a statement of his own. Once again, he proclaimed innocence.

"I am saddened by the charges that were leveled against me today," said Filner. "Once due process is allowed to unfold, I am certain there will be a better understanding of this situation."

He continued, "I humbly ask that through this vicious storm of controversy, people take a moment and temper their rush to judgment … I do not believe these claims are valid. That is why due process is so important. I intend to defend myself vigorously and I know that justice will prevail."

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