San Diego Mayor Bob Filner’s former communications director has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the city, triggering bipartisan calls of resignation from two city council members.
Celebrity women’s equal rights attorney Gloria Allred announced that Irene McCormack Jackson, the mayor’s former spokeswoman, had filed a sexual harassment lawsuit during a press conference held Monday, according to UT San Diego.
Allred, a partner in the Los Angeles-based employment law firm Allred, Maroko and Goldberg, filed the lawsuit against the city on behalf of McCormack, who is the first woman to come forward publicly with sexual harassment allegations against the mayor.
The issue first arose last week when Filner’s former supporters asked him to resign amidst allegations of sexual harassment involving several female staffers.
Filner, a former congressman, has only been in office for seven months.
McCormack said during the press conference that Filner had asked her to work without wearing underwear, demanded kisses and repeatedly dragged her around in a headlock while whispering sexual advances, according to the newspaper.
McCormack also demanded the for the 70-year-old Democrat’s immediate resignation.
She says she resigned in June at a staff meeting after a deputy chief of staff complained to the mayor that his behavior toward women was wrong and possibly illegal.
Filner admitted last week in a statement that he mistreated women who worked for him but denied being guilty of sexual harassment.
In separate press conferences, San Diego City Councilmembers Kevin Faulconer, a Republican, and Todd Gloria, a Democrat, both called on Filner to resign, according to the newspaper.
“We need a mayor who can convince… businesses that city hall is a stable place to do business,” Falconer said. “We do not have that mayor today.”