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The Audacity of Grope: Filner’s new excuse is he never received sexual harassment training

The Audacity of Grope: Filner’s new excuse is he never received sexual harassment training

Once I thought Professor Jacobson was America’s boldest lawyer, being a noted conservative pundit in a sea of blue academia.

He now has stiff competition from a San Diego employment attorney hired by Mayor Bob Filner to defend against claims of sexual harassment.  His lawyer argues that the city should pay his legal fees in the sexual harassment lawsuit because Filner never received the necessary preventative training required under the law.

California law requires all new managers to receive sexual harassment training within six months of being hired.

“The city failed to provide such training to Mayor Filner,” Filner’s lawyer Harvey Berger wrote in a July 29 letter to City Attorney Jan Goldsmith. “In fact, it is my understanding that such training was scheduled, but the trainer for the city unilaterally cancelled, and never re-scheduled such training for the Mayor (and others.) Therefore, if there is any liability at all, the city will almost certainly be liable for ‘failing to prevent harassment’ under Government Code Section 12940(k).”

Berger admits that the mayor never received any sexual harassment training while serving in Congress or in previous San Diego elected office.

A bold argument, that. I think the City Council and City Attorney, all of whom are current on their training, are going to reject this claim. But, I do admire its audacity.

I mentioned there were some concerns about dual recall petitions initiated by gay activist and Filner supporter Stampp Corbin and citizen activist Michael Pallamary. City Attorney Jan Goldsmith has determined both petitions can go forward, and the first one to collect the 100,000 plus signatures will be valid. As an extra bonus, both men have agreed to work together going forward:

“A lot of things get blown out of proportion because there were third parties talking about conversations,” said Pallamary, referring to comments made by a supposed friend of Corbin, Susan Jester who claims Corbin made fun of sabotaging Pallamary’s recall a week before starting his own campaign.

“We’ve cleared the air and that’s between them,” stressed Pallamary.

Now both men say they’re hoping to join forces and increase their chances to successfully recall Filner out of office.

Personally, many people in my San Diego Tea Party group are looking forward to promoting the petition effort. It’s a good thing, too. City Attorney Goldsmith also acknowledged San Diego has no impeachment process in its charter, so the recall process is the only real alternative to getting Filner’s resignation.

Additionally, Filner is also in hot water for a junket to France that is being investigated. The heat is so intense, the mayor has offered to reimburse the city for nearly $10,000 in expenses for a speech in Paris he gave to the Organization of Iranian-American Communities. It turns out the group is not a non-profit, as originally listed.

If these are examples of how former Congressman Filner learned to run things in Washington, D.C., our country is in deep, deep trouble.

(Hat-tip to Legal Insurrection fan Musson for the title inspiration)


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Henry Hawkins | August 1, 2013 at 10:16 am

“My problems are the fault of others” is hardly a unique defense among Democrats.

So can we call Filner’s defense the George Castanza defense?

Remember when he was caught having sex with the cleaning lady from the NY Yankees office? “What that’s not OK? Well no one ever mentioned it BEFORE now.”

    MaggotAtBroadAndWall in reply to Howard Roark. | August 1, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Ha! Perfect analogy. I bet it had been over a decade since I’d last seen a Seinfeld episode until I saw that one very recently.

    Memo to Filthy Filner: George got fired.

I guess he can write a new novel, “The Gropes of Wrath.”

This could be both an outrageous and winning argument.
Prior to retirement I participated in multiple sexual harassment training sessions required of all managers. Our firm risked great exposure here in California if it failed to comply with laws mandating that training. It was tedious and not uplifting, but it did instruct us of the new lines of engagement in the ever-expanding push for more conduct to be deemed harassment.
I enlivened these sessions by consistently getting the “wrong” answer on the multiple scenarios in which we were required to indicate whether the hypothetical conduct was OK, on the borderline, or clearly harassment. I always felt pride and nostalgia when the instructor said: “No, Rick, you can’t do that anymore.” While the instructors felt at risk in that they did not seem to be able to get through to this old guy, most of the other attendees understood what was going on.

Seems to me that Filner knew how to sexually harass someone without any training on how to do it.

I never received sexual harassment training but I have self-control. Do they have self-control in California? How about dignity? Honor?


No one ever told Filner it was wrong to harass women? How about his mom?

Carol Herman | August 1, 2013 at 2:08 pm

More usual than unusual. Filner’s not the first to chase secretaries around desks.

Sex stories really get the “blue noses” to foam. And, get all lathered up. To others? Same old gossip you hear around the water cooler. Or back in the old days, the way word-of-mouth worked when gossip traveled over lots of back fences.

You know, I doubt this brings in more voters?

Most adults just shrug at the stories where a man’s pants falls to his ankles. And, he trips and breaks his nose.

It’s similar to the “wide stance” story. Lots of people know it involves a homosexual pickup in a toilet. It will cost a politician his role in life.

But it just doesn’t change things one iota.

I don’t see republicans gaining voters. I do see this, though, as part of the process where republicans are marginalized. Just like in the fringes, there’s a belief if you forbid the sale of red lights, prostitution will disappear. (No. You can’t even tax it out of existence.)

Beware when the media lets you get fixated on a story.

Henry Hawkins | August 1, 2013 at 3:14 pm

One is not to be held responsible if the state failed to train you in right vs. wrong? Behold, as the state becomes the arbiter of morals.

[…] he missed the sex harassment training, too?  Related, here is a link to a must-watch video — Your skin is not going to […]