Who defends who in the case of a lawsuit filed against the City of San Diego and the mayor? City Attorney Jan Goldsmith explains.
San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith responds to a lawsuit filed against the city and Mayor Bob Filner.
"We will not under any circumstance represent Bob Filner," Goldsmith told reporters hours after a lawsuit accusing Filner of sexual harassment was made public.
The city attorney addressed the complaint filed Monday by attorney Gloria Allred on behalf of her client, former communications director to the mayor Irene McCormack Jackson.
Goldsmith said he has asked for several statements from leaders in the mayor's office but said he is aware of only the one alleged victim at this time.
“When we discuss it with the other attorneys we’re going to figure out how to get to the bottom of it and find out what happened. I want to know the truth and see what steps we need to take if there are others to meet our obligations to them,” Goldsmith said.
He did say that after a July 15 public news conference where attorneys levied allegations of sexual harassment, he requested the mayor not meet with women alone in city facilities as a preventative measure.
Goldsmith said this was agreed to by Mayor Filner and his attorney Harvey Berger who he has retained at personal expense.
The City Attorney’s Office will advise the City Council in closed session regarding any claims or lawsuits. Under the city's charter, the mayor runs closed session meetings.
“As if we haven’t had awkward situations before, we expect to have awkward situations,” Goldsmith said.
Because the mayor has no vote, he will not be able to vote on settlements involving these allegations according to the city attorney.
As for whether he would advise the mayor to resign, Goldsmith said “There are enough legal issues to keep us busy. I’m not getting into the political ones.