San Diego to sue its mayor for costs of harassment case

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to file a lawsuit against Mayor Bob Filner to recover any money the city has to pay because of the sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former top aide to the mayor.

The suit will seek to recover any damages ordered by the court, or agreed to as part of a pretrial settlement, arising from the lawsuit filed against the city and Filner by the mayor's former director of communications, Irene McCormack Jackson.

The vote was taken in closed session.

"This is part of due process," City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said.

"If Bob Filner engaged in unlawful conduct and the city is held liable, he will have to reimburse us every penny the city pays and its attorney fees."

The phrase "due process" has been a mantra of Filner, 70, a Democrat, and his supporters in explaining why he should not resign and that the allegations against him have not yet been proven.

Tuesday night, the council is set to decide whether it will pay for Filner's attorney, Harvey Berger. Berger on Monday filed a request with the city attorney for reimbursement.

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