Filner’s former communications chief, Irene McCormack Jackson, filed her lawsuit on July 22 seeking unspecified damages for sexual harassment. On Friday, McCormack's attorney Gloria Allred said her client is not part of the settlement and opposes any agreement that requires the city to pay Filner's legal expenses. She says the lawsuit will continue.
More than a dozen other women eventually stepped forward, accusing him of unwanted sexual advances.
Filner responded to the accusations by saying he needed help, but he refused to resign. He announced July 26 that he would undergo behavioral therapy at a psychological clinic. He said he had completed treatment on Aug. 10 and was seen back at City Hall on Aug. 20.
Filner, 70, a former San Diego State history professor, built his political career on a commitment to championing civil and veterans rights. He was first elected to public office in 1979 when he won a seat on the San Diego City Schools Board of Trustees. He served on the City Council and was elected to Congress in 1992, where he later served as chair of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. In 2012, he won election as San Diego's mayor.
In addition to the sexual harassment scandal, Filner's administration is facing scrutiny by the Department of Justice, which is is investigating a $100,000 donation made to the city of San Diego by developers Sunroad Centrum Partners. The money was returned when Filner discovered that a top-level administrator secured the donation in exchange for withdrawing a veto tying up a project Sunroad has been working on since 1997.
But the recent focus has largely been on Filner's alleged sexual harassment, leading fellow lawmakers as well as San Diego citizens to pressure him to leave office.
The terms of his resignation have been controversial. Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents Irene McCormack Jackson, raised questions about his agreement with San Diego city officials in a press conference yesterday. Among other things, Allred said that it would be reprehensible for the City Council to sign off on a deal in which public funds were paid to Filner in exchange for his resignation.