Filner sexual harassment lawsuit won’t go to trial until 2015

Posted in Sexual Harassment on February 6, 2014

One of the biggest news stories in California last year was the sexual harassment scandal involving Bob Filner, the former mayor of San Diego who resigned in disgrace after just nine months in office. The story remained in the headlines for quite some time. This was due, in part, to the significant number of women who came forward, one after another, to levy sexual harassment allegations against Mr. Filner.

Although the former mayor’s troubles are far from over, he may not spend much time in the news during 2014. The trial date for the sexual harassment lawsuit against Mr. Filner was recently set for February 20, 2015.

The plaintiff in the suit is Filner’s former communications director Irene McCormack Jackson. She and her attorney wanted the trial to begin sooner than the date that was ultimately set. The attorney noted that “we’d like to have as early a trial date as possible so that our client and the city of San Diego can put this behind them.”

There may be several reasons for the delay, including the fact that Mr. Filner is still serving his three-month sentence of house arrest. He is also being represented by the City Attorney’s Office, which Filner secured the services of in a plea deal for his resignation. Filner’s attorneys may have needed a 2015 trial date due to scheduling conflicts.

It is somewhat common to have to wait a significant amount of time between filing a lawsuit and going to trial. In this case, however, the distant trial date may result in a missed opportunity, in that Californians (and Americans generally) will be paying less attention to the case than they would if the trial were set for the near future.

High-profile cases like this one are a good way to show the consequences of sexual harassment. Hopefully, the trial will still make a strong impact in the media a year from now.

Source: ABC 10 News, “Trial date set for sexual harassment suit against San Diego, ex-mayor Bob Filner,” Jan. 31, 2014