Another San Diego politician accused of sexual harassment

Posted in Sexual Harassment on October 16, 2014

The city of San Diego currently has a political legacy tainted by widespread allegations of sexual harassment. At the center of those allegations is former mayor Bob Filner. Now, it seems that one of Filner’s former opponents is also embroiled in his own sexual harassment scandal.

According to a recent CNN article, Congressional candidate Carl DeMaio has been accused of sexual harassment by a former staffer on his campaign. DeMaio is an openly gay Republican candidate running for U.S. Congress. His accuser, also openly gay and Republican, has said that these traits were originally what made him want to work for DeMaio’s campaign.

The former staffer alleges that DeMaio once grabbed his crotch while giving him a ride back to his car after a staff outing. Later on, DeMaio allegedly called the young man into his office, where he could allegedly be seen masturbating.

These are not the first allegations to be leveled against the candidate. When DeMaio served on the San Diego City Council, a fellow councilman allegedly caught DeMaio masturbating in a semi-private restroom in city hall.

In light of these allegations, it may now seem ironic that DeMaio attacked Bob Filner about his sexual harassment scandal during the 2012 mayoral race. He told voters that “you need a mayor who is willing to insist on zero tolerance when it comes to the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace and in any other environment.”

Of course, the allegations against DeMaio leveled by a former staffer have yet to be substantiated. And with less than a month to go before midterm elections, DeMaio and his current campaign staff seem unwilling to discuss the allegations in any detail beyond denying them.

No matter what happens with the election, we have to hope that the truth comes out and that San Diegans are not saddled with yet another lengthy political scandal involving sexual harassment.

Source: CNN Politics, “Gay Republican congressional candidate accused of sexual harassment,” Chris Frates and Scott Zamost, Oct. 10, 2014