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Filner Put Me in Headlock and Rubbed Breasts, City Employee Says

Another city employee has accused former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner of inappropriate advances.

Bob Filner. Patch file photo.
Bob Filner. Patch file photo.

A second city employee filed a lawsuit Wednesday against former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, claiming he grabbed her from behind, put her in a headlock and rubbed her breasts at an event at a city park.

Stacy McKenzie, a district manager for the city's Parks and Recreation Department, said Filner approached her April 21 at the Clairemont Days event at North DeAnza Cove in Mission Bay, asked her if she had a boyfriend or a husband, then asked her on a date. 

McKenzie said she got away, but Filner pursued her across the park, came up from behind, and put her in what has become known as the "Filner headlock."

As he held McKenzie, Filner asked two other female city employees, "Isn't she great?" He then said to all three women, "Just to let you know, I like to get really close to my city employees," according to the lawsuit.

McKenzie's attorney, Dan Gilleon, said he planned to use an animated reenactment of McKenzie's version of events to help prove his client's case.

Gilleon said the events at the park were witnessed by two park rangers.

The lawsuit is the second to be filed against Filner. His former communications director, Irene McCormack Jackson, filed a $1.5 million suit against him and the city.

At least 20 women came forward, saying Filner made inappropriate advances toward them over his years in politics.

In a criminal case, Filner pleaded guilty to sexually harassing three women and was sentenced to probation and three months of home confinement.

—City News Service

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