• U.S.

The Mayor Who Won’t Let Go

1 minute read
Katy Steinmetz

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner had been resisting calls to resign for nearly two weeks when civil rights attorney Gloria Allred held a news conference on July 22. “There have been a number of press articles referring to Mayor Filner and suggesting that he asked a woman to work without her panties,” Allred said. “Irene is the woman.”

This disclosure–that Irene McCormack Jackson, the mayor’s 57-year-old former communications director, was suing her old boss for sexual harassment–could shorten Filner’s rookie term. A former Congressman and the first Democrat to hold the mayoral office in 20 years, Filner was already contending with anonymous allegations of inappropriate behavior toward women, including unwanted kissing, groping and a forced embrace dubbed the “Filner headlock.”

The city council has gone so far as to propose “alternative workspace” for uneasy co-workers. Filner, who has admitted to “inappropriate” behavior, vowed to “defend myself vigorously” after the press conference. Hours later, a second woman came forward, alleging that Filner rudely patted her “posterior” at a 2005 fundraiser.

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