San Diego, CA- The lawyer representing San Diego’s Mayor Bob Filner, who is accused of being a serial sexual harasser, says the city should pay for his legal fees since his client never received any sexual harassment training.
Filner filed his outrageous request late Monday, insisting that San Diego taxpayers should foot the bill for his legal fees in the wake of a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former communications director who alleges he harassed her on numerous instances.
In a letter written to the city council, Harvey Berger, Filner’s attorney said, “The city has a legal obligation to provide sexual harassment training to all management level employees,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
Berger insists that Filner may not have known what constituted sexual harassment and added that his client never received training after he was elected Mayor or during his 10 terms in Congress.
Berger presented his arguments just one day before the city council voted unanimously to deny Filner’s request.
Berger said in the letter, “having conducted sexual harassment training scores of times over the years, I have learned that many — if not most — people do not know what is and what is not illegal sexual harassment under California law.”
Berger said that Filner was scheduled for sexual harassment training, but it was canceled and never rescheduled. He said, “There is a very good reason for sexual harassment training; if for nothing else it makes people think about the subject, and how they interact with their fellow employees.”
And he explained why the city should foot the bill, “The city may be strictly liable for any sexual harassment by a supervisor, even if it had no reason to know of it. So, of course, the city should have a strong interest in making certain that Mayor Filner has the resources to defend himself,” the LA Times reported.
In addition to denying Filner’s request the city council pay his legal bills, they turned the tables on Filner and filed a lawsuit against him so he alone will have to cover any settlements and legal fees that result from the impending harassment lawsuit.
In the meeting to turn down Filner’s request, Councilman Kevin Faulconer said that the Mayor “abused his power to intimidate and engage in inappropriate contact with women. I will not condone Filner’s behavior by authorizing taxpayers to pay for his legal defense.”
Filner has one option to get money for his legal fees; he can establish a legal defense fund, but that probably won’t get his very far since most people are abhorred by his behavior.
On Tuesday, another woman came forward, bringing the total number of his accusers to eight. So far only one of the women has filed a civil suit against the Mayor. Although he has been apologetic about his behavior, he has repeatedly refused request that he resign as Mayor. Instead, he believes two weeks of intensive therapy will help him stop being such a pervert.