Defense for former San Diego mayor Bob Filner claims he acted 'without malice'

San Diego Mayor

Gregory Bull/AP

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner pauses as he speaks during a news conference at city hall Friday, July 26, 2013, in San Diego

The defense for ousted San Diego mayor Bob Filner's sexual harassment case claims that he acted "without malice" toward former communications director, Irene McCormack Jackson. 

According to court documents first obtained by the San Diego Reader, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said Filner, "acted in good faith...and with a reasonable belief that his conduct was lawful, welcome and/or consensual at all times."

In addition, the city attorney claims McCormack, as she is known professionally, did not first "utilize and exhaust the City of San Diego's internal grievance and/or complaint procedures and remedies," before filing the lawsuit. 

In her complaint against Filner, McCormack claims the mayor asked her to work without panties, demanded kisses and dragged her around in a headlock while whispering sexual advances. McCormack was the first woman to come forward on July 22 with sexual harassment claims against Filner. Eighteen more women came forward shortly afterward. 

"I had to work and do my job in an atmosphere where women were viewed by Mayor Filner as sexual objects to stupid idiots. I saw him place his hands where they did not belong on numerous women," McCormack said during a press conference on July 22 alongside her attorney, Gloria Allred. "He is not fit to be the mayor of our great city."

The city replied that Jackson does not have "clear and convincing evidence" that Filner committed the actions in her complaint. In addition, the city attorney's office said she "exacerbated her injuries."

The documents seek unspecified compensation for Filner. 

Read the entire response below:

Defendant Bob Filner ("Defendant") hereby provides the following answer to Plaintiff Irene McCormack Jackson's ("Plaintiff') unverified Complaint on file herein as follows: Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 431.30(d), Defendant generally denies each and every allegation of the Complaint. Also, as separate, distinct, and affirmative defenses to the allegations in the Complaint, Defendant alleges as follows:

The facts alleged in the Complaint, and each cause of action therein, fail to state a cause of action against Defendant.

Plaintiff cannot establish a prima facie case of sexual harassment under the Fair Employment and Housing Act or Title VII.

Plaintiff was not subjected to unwelcome, harassing conduct by Defendant based on her gender or sex.

The harassing conduct alleged by Plaintiff was not sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of Plaintiffs employment at the City and create a hostile or abusive work environment on the basis of sex.

Plaintiffs work environment at the City was not objectively and subjectively hostile or abusive on the basis of sex.

Defendant had legitimate, nondiscriminatory, non-retaliatory reasons for his acts and/or omissions in regard to Plaintiff.

Defendant acted in good faith, without malice, and with a reasonable belief that his conduct was lawful, welcome, and/or consensual at all relevant times.

Defendant's act and/or omissions with respect to Plaintiff were without any harassing, discriminatory, or retaliatory intent, purpose, or motive.

Defendant's conduct in connection with all matters alleged in the Complaint was reasonable, lawful, and consistent with community standards; Plaintiff's conduct was unreasonable.

Plaintiff unreasonably failed to use the preventive and corrective measures that the City of San Diego provided; such use would have prevented some or all of Plaintiff's harm, if any.

Plaintiff failed to avail herself of the protections offered by the City of San Diego; Plaintiff failed to utilize and exhaust the City of San Diego's internal grievance and/or complaint procedures and remedies.

Plaintiff failed to comply with the claims presentation requirements and the requirements pertaining to commencement of civil actions against Defendant, a City employee, as set forth in the Government Code.

Plaintiff is barred from recovery by non-compliance with the Government Code, in that the allegations in Plaintiffs Complaint herein were not described in any Government Claims Act claim Plaintiff timely filed with the City of San Diego.

Plaintiff is barred from recovery by non-compliance with the Government Code, in that the allegations in Plaintiff's Complaint herein were not described in any charge Plaintiff timely filed with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

Plaintiff failed to exhaust her administrative remedies prior to bringing suit.

Plaintiff failed to pursue and exhaust her judicial remedies.

Plaintiff's claims, or some of them, are barred by the applicable statutes of limitations.

Plaintiff's claims, or some of them, are barred by the doctrine of collateral estoppel.

Plaintiff's claims, or some of them, are barred by the doctrine of res judicata.

Plaintiff's claims, or some of them, are barred by the exclusivity provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act.

Plaintiffs claims are barred by the doctrine of unclean hands.

Plaintiff's claims are barred by the doctrine of laches.

Plaintiff has waived some or all of her claims.

Plaintiff has released some or all of her claims.

Defendant is immune from liability, in whole or in part, by virtue of the statutory immunities set forth in the Government Claims Act, including, but not limited to, Government Code sections 820, 820.2, 820.4, 820.6, 820.8, 820.9, 821, 821.6, and 822.2.

Plaintiff has not sustained injury or damage due to any act or omission of Defendant.

Plaintiffs injury and/or damage, if any, was proximately and substantially caused or contributed to, in whole or in part, by Plaintiff and/or third parties.

Plaintiff has failed to mitigate her injuries or damages, if any.

Plaintiff's conduct has exacerbated her injuries or damages, if any.

Plaintiff cannot establish through clear and convincing evidence that Defendant has been guilty of oppression, fraud, or malice, so as to allow Plaintiff to recover punitive or exemplary damages against Defendant.

WHEREFORE, Defendant prays as follows: 1. That Plaintiff takes nothing by way of her action; 2. That Defendant be dismissed and awarded his costs of suit; and 3. That Defendant be awarded such other and further relief as the Court may deem just and proper.

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