Another woman has come forward with allegations that San Diego, California’s Mayor Bob Filner (D) sexually harassed her. According to Talking Points Memo, political strategist Laura Fink told KPBS that the mayor touched her “posterior” in front of a group of guests at a fundraising event in 2005.
Fink worked as Filner’s deputy campaign manager from 2004 to 2006. She was standing next to Filner at the 2005 event when a guest made a remark about Fink having “worked her a** off” for the campaign. Filner told Fink to turn around, she said, then “took his hands, patted my posterior, laughed, and said, ‘No, it’s still there!’”
Several witnesses saw the humiliating exchange, but Fink said to KPBS that she declined to report the incident or take action because she “was trying to build a career in the political field…and Bob Filner has a reputation for swift retribution and for holding grudges.”
KPBS reported that Fink now plans to report the incident to police. As evidence, she will present an email exchange about the incident that she sent to Filner, who was a congressman at the time.
She said that after the email, the only apology she over got from Filner was a mumbled “I’m sorry” in passing. She said she never received any written response to the email.
On Monday, Filner’s former chief of communications, Irene McCormack Jackson, filed a lawsuit against Filner and the city of San Diego, alleging multiple instances of inappropriate touching directed at her or other women, including what staffers call “the Filner headlock,” in which Filner wound seize a woman around the neck and shoulders and try to force her to kiss him, often saying lewd remarks into their ear.
Filner has stubbornly refused to step down in spite of the growing number of accusations. Many high ranking staffers have left the mayor’s office because of the scandal. City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said that the San Diego City Council may opt to counter-sue Filner, since the city is named in Jackson’s lawsuit.
If Filner does not resign, said Goldsmith, the only alternative for voters would be a long and protracted recall process and special election.
Watch video about this story, embedded via KPBS, below: