The attorney for San Diego Mayor Bob Filner argued in a letter Monday, one day before the City Council voted against paying for the mayor's legal bills, that the city should pick up the tab because it failed to provide adequate sexual harassment training.
Local media published parts of the letter Wednesday night after news that San Diego voted Tuesday to file a lawsuit against the mayor. The coucil voted unanimously to recover any money the city has to pay in legal fees due to a sexual harassment lawsuit by Mr. Filner's former communications director, who alleges he asked her to work without wearing panties, Fox News reported.
The mayor's attorney Harvey Berger wrote in a letter to City Attorney Jan Goldsmith that the training was scheduled but the city trainer canceled and did not reschedule.
"While, to paraphrase Bob Dylan, many might argue that 'you don't need a weatherperson to tell you which way the wind blows,' and an adult male should not need sexual harassment training," Filner may not be facing a lawsuit today if he had undergone the classes, Mr. Berger wrote, according to Fox News.
"This is not an excuse for any inappropriate behavior which may have occurred, but having conducted sexual harassment training many times over the years, I have learned that many — if not most — people do not know what is and what is not illegal sexual harassment under California law. There is a very, very good reason for mandatory sexual harassment training; if nothing else it makes people think about the subject, and how they interact with their fellow employees," Mr. Berger continued.
Mr. Filner is facing allegations of sexual harassment from at least eight women.
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