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San Diego mayor wants city to pay legal fees in sex harassment suit

San Diego mayor Bob Filner speaks at a news conference in San Diego, California July 26, 2013.
San Diego mayor Bob Filner speaks at a news conference in San Diego, California July 26, 2013.Fred Greaves / REUTERS

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has asked the city to cover his legal fees for a sexual harassment lawsuit, according to an agenda released by the city council.

The city council will convene in a special closed session on Tuesday night to discuss whether or not to pay for legal fees in a sexual harassment claim filed by Filner’s former employee Irene McCormack Jackson.

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Jackson publicly came forward last week and alleged that Filner told her to “work without panties” and detailed other alleged acts of sexual harassment. Jackson called her experience working for the mayor “the worst time of my entire working life.”

Prominent San Diego attorney Gloria Allred is representing Jackson, and filed the lawsuit last week. Read the complaint here

Filner has been accused of sexually harassing multiple women -- a total of seven women have publicly come forward claiming he acted inappropriately toward them.

The mayor has since apologized for "offending" women, and will enter intensive therapy for two weeks to "begin the process of addressing [his] behavior."

Filner has made the request that he should be defended under the city’s expense through a letter from his lawyer Harvey Berger.

The letter stated that Filner should have the city pay for representation under California Government codes 825 and 995 – which deal with compensation and defense of public employees.

The San Diego City Attorney’s Office is advising the council during Tuesday night’s meeting.

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith has said his office will not represent Filner, but he has not said whether or not the city will be responsible for his legal fees. It is not clear at this time how the council will act.