San Diego Parks and Recreation employee claims she was sexually harassed at work

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A City of San Diego employee says she was sexually harassed by her boss on the job and now the man accused of the harassment is asking the city to pay for his legal defense.

The woman says her supervisor groped her and grabbed her arm hard enough to tear open a recent surgical wound, causing it to bleed. 

The parks and Rec Department employee alleges that her supervisor, Frank Cardenas, sexually harassed her, even touching her inappropriately at work.

Josh Gruenberg is representing the city staffer and says she has put up with enough. "He pinned her legs against her desk in her cubicle he wrapped her up in his arms and pulled her close multiple times,” said Gruenberg.

The victim says she rejected every overture Cardenas made. At one point, the victim says Cardenas told her "if she wanted to get the support to grow within the city she should only care what Cardenas thinks or wants."

"He really tried to get her to put his trust in him and that it would be good for her career,” Gruenberg said.

The lawsuit also claims that Cardenas gripped the victim’s arm so hard that he reopened a surgical incision, causing her to bleed at work.

"And all of this took place in the workspace. This was not something that involved the two of them going away for a weekend. This all took place on the job,” Gruenberg said.

Cardenas declined a request for an interview. Monday night, the City of San Diego voted unanimously not to pay for Cardenas’s legal fees with city money and said they have no further comment.

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