San Diego, CA- After the stunning sexual harassment allegations surfaced against San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, he welcomed an investigation, but now he is facing more than an investigation. Backed by high-powered attorney Gloria Allred, one of the victims of his alleged harassment will now face a lawsuit.
The allegations came to light a little over a week ago in a press conference where former supporters including prominent San Diego Democrat Donna Frye called for his resignation. They promised to reveal details of the allegations and warned Mayor Filner who has repeatedly refused to resign that he could face lawsuits.
Last week, Filner’s former supporters held a press conference where showed a pattern of inappropriate behavior. They alleged that the harassment was so prevalent that some of his unwitting victims nicknamed the incidents the “Filner headlock” and characterized his tendency to corner women as the “Filner dance.” Many women on his staff referred to him as a “dirty old man.”
Today, the possibility of lawsuit became a reality when high-powered attorney Gloria Allred announced she would be filing a lawsuit on behalf of one of the victims. Allred’s client “will reveal her identity and explain what she has suffered,” according to a statement from the attorney’s office.
In the wake of the numerous allegations, a hotline was established for people to report any of Filner’s misconduct.
Mayor Filner welcomed the news of the hotline because he believes it will lead an objective investigation instead of “press conferences filled with innuendos,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
The embittered Mayor has also questioned the anonymity of the process stating saying, “there’s been no charges in a fair way that I can deal with.” But California law states that victims of sexual abuse are protected from revealing their identities out of concerns for their privacy.
Filner denies he sexually harassed anyone, but admitted that he did subject both men and women in City Hall to crass behavior and promised to change. He said he apologized to all his employees. However, he has refused to resign insisting an investigation will exonerate him.
In an interview with a local TV station, Filner’s ex-fiancé , Bronwyn Ingram, said she believed he should resign, admitting that she caught him sending sexually charged emails to one of his employees as well as frequently hitting on other women. She, however, was unclear if her former beau actually sexually harassed anyone.
Filner probably would have fared better by just going ahead and resigning instead of facing off with Gloria Allred. She is known for being a hard-hitting and highly competent attorney so a battle with her will be difficult. She will be perfectly capable of winning a large settlement for the woman she is representing.
Allred takes a number of different legal cases but she has represented women in sexual harassment cases on a few occasions. Most people will recognize her from the Republican primaries last year when she represented Sharon Bialek, one of the few women who accused then-candidate Herman Cain of sexual harassment.