SAN DIEGO - A veteran who claimed her nurse friend was sexually harassed by Bob Filner after they both sought his help is now getting assistance through another source.
The scandal surrounding Filner was just hitting its stride when retired Marine Staff Sgt. Katherine Ragazzino, an Iraq War veteran, and her nurse dropped a bombshell.
"We went to him for help which he said was contingent with me going out with him," said Michelle Tyler in an Aug. 6 news conference with attorney Gloria Allred.
"I don't appreciate being used as a bargaining chip," Ragazzino said.
They were seeking Filner's help with the Veterans Administration when Ragazzino was having major difficulty straightening out her file.
Rep. Scott Peters (D-San Diego) was watching the Aug. 6 briefing.
"We watched the Filner claims and it occurred to us one of the things we do is help veterans," Peters said.
A few phone calls and a four-hour meeting nine days later got Ragazzino the disability rating she sought and the benefits she earned.
"Because of this mess, which we did not want to take part in, there are some blessings," Tyler said.
As Ragazzino appeared before cameras in another news conference concerning Filner's last day, she became emotional when she talked about her father.
"Today would have been his birthday, he would have been 90, I know he's up there looking down and is proud of me," she said.
Her father, Augustine, fought on Iwo Jima and was the reason she wanted to join the Marines.