Denver, CO- Just a days after former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and sexual assault charges, one of the numerous women he sexually harassed filed a half million dollar lawsuit. This is the second sexual harassment lawsuit Filner has been slapped with and likely will not be the last.
The latest suit was filed by Parks and Recreation employee, Stacy McKenzie, 50, and includes allegations similar to those made by the 20 other women who also accused Filner of sexually harassing them.
In the lawsuit, filed Wednesday, McKenzie alleges that Filner put her in his infamous “Filner Headlock,” rubbed his elbow against her breasts, rubbed her arms and asked her for a date.
The suit states that two women who were attending the event where the incident took place said they witnessed the interaction between Filner and McKenzie, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The attorney representing McKenzie, David Gilleon said his client’s “dignity was stolen by the mayor at a public event.”
McKenzie’s attorney went as far as to produce a computer animated video which reenacts the sexual harassment which took place in April at the De Anza Cove on Mission Bay. The animated short, Gilleon told Fox 5, helps tell his client’s story but downplays the severity of the infamous headlock and the harassment.
In the video, Filner tells McKenzie, as he is holding her in the headlock with his body pressed against her back. He tells her “I like to get really close to my city employees.” He appeared to take delight in making the McKenzie uncomfortable, remarking on how she was turning red which was followed by a sinister laugh.
The lawsuit filed in a San Diego Superior Court alleges gender violence, sexual harassment, battery and failure to prevent sexual harassment. She is seeking $500,000 in damages.
Filner who resigned in August initially denied all the claims from the 20 women, stating he was the victim of a “lynch mob.” His obstinacy and arrogance had dramatically changed in his court appearance earlier this week where acted humbly and pleaded guilty to one count of false imprisonment and two counts of sexual battery.
Filner avoided jail but will be on house arrest for three years while he undergoes therapy. He was forbidden from seeking public office in the future.
The first sexual harassment lawsuit was filed back in July, by this former communications director Irene McCormack Johnson with the helped on high-powered attorney Gloria Allred. McCormack Johnson is seeking $150 million in damages.
The city of San Diego also filed a lawsuit asking that Filner be held accountable for the legal fees they will face because of the sexual harassment lawsuits.
The extent of Filner’s harassment is shocking and shows how easy it is for someone in a powerful position to get away with such misconduct. People often fear they will face retaliation for reporting sexual harassment so they ignore it, this allowed “dirty old man” Filner to harass close to two dozen women.
Victims of workplace harassment should never ignore it; instead they should contact a sexual harassment attorney to guide them through the steps they should take.