Mayor Filner Blames San Diego for Not Giving Him Sexual Harassment Training, Suing for Damages
You really can't make this stuff up. Filner's lawyer is claiming the city failed to provide the mayor with state-required behavioral training — and so should pay to defend him in the harassment lawsuit filed against him earlier this month. Really.
Harvey Berger, San Diego Mayor Filner's attorney, said in a letter Wednesday that the mayor never received the mandated sexual harassment training within his first few months of the job, so the city may be liable for any damages incurred by the sexual harassment lawsuit against him. Because basic training would have made all the difference.
Here's an actual section of the letter:
"While to paraphrase Bob Dylan, many might argue that 'you don't need a weatherperson to tell you which way the wind blows,' and an adult male should not need sexual harassment training, I would point out that in his decades of public service for the people of San Diego as a U.S. Representative, Mayor Filner never received sexual harassment training. This is not an excuse for any inappropriate behavior which may have occurred, but 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."
The letter was made public only a day after the San Diego City Council unanimously decided not to pay Filner's legal bills, voting instead to sue him to avoid losing money if the mayor was found guilty.
Filner is currently facing allegations of unwanted advances from at least eight women. One of them — his former communications director, Irene McCormack Jackson — filed a lawsuit July 22 against the mayor and the city, accusing Filner of asking her to work without panties, and putting her in the "Filner headlock" while whispering in her ear.
Training really would have clarified that one.