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Mayor resigns following sexual harassment claims

A California city is looking to elect a new political candidate to office following the resignation of its mayor. San Diego Mayor Bob Filner made an announcement on Aug. 23 that he would resign from office amid sexual harassment claims. The day before Mr. Filner announced his resignation, the Los Angeles Times announced that the resignation followed closed-door mediation and an agreement by the City of San Diego to pay a portion of any damages against Mr. Filner in the sexual harassment lawsuit brought by one former aide.

Mr. Filner had served only nine months of what was supposed to be a four-year term at the time of his resignation; he had previously served 10 terms as a congressman. The first allegation of sexual harassment was made on June 20 by a communications director who confronted him about unwanted sexual advances. Mr. Filner's deputy chief of staff quit the position shortly after.

Since June, Mr. Filner has continued to be the subject of numerous allegations of harassment. His former aide called on him to resign; on July 11, he told the public that he was in need of psychological help and announced that he would be seeking therapy. On July 22, the communications director who had accused Mr. Filner of harassment filed charges against the mayor and the city. In August, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer publicly called on the mayor to resign.

Employers are responsible for protecting their employees from sexual harassment. When a government employee is harassed by a government-appointed official, an employment law attorney may, as has been done in San Diego, represent the employee in a lawsuit against the government employer.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Bob Filner to resign as San Diego mayor over sexual harassment," Tony Perry, Aug. 22, 2013

Source: Washington Times, "San Diego Mayor Bob Filner packs up, among sea of sexual harassment scandals", Cheryl K. Chumley, August 30, 2013

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