Filner Accuser: "He Violated My Space" - NBC Bay Area
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Filner Accuser: "He Violated My Space"

Marilyn McGaughy is accusing Mayor Bob Filner of unwanted sexual advances



    Filner Accuser: "He Violated My Space"
    Marilyn McGaughy claims Mayor Bob Filner "violated her space" and made unwanted sexual advances during an event at an elementary school on May 17.

    Yet another woman has come forward claiming San Diego Mayor Bob Filner touched her inappropriately and exposed his "dark side," this time during an event at an elementary school.

    Marilyn McGaughy, who's being represented by San Diego attorney Dan Gilleon, claims Filner made unwanted sexual advances on May 17 when she attended an event at Johnson Elementary School where the mayor was making a special appearance.

    McGaughy’s friend’s son is a student at the school, and McGaughy was there that day because she often attends the boy’s school functions with his mother.

    Gilleon says McGaughy approached Filner at the event because she had volunteered at a telephone bank during his campaign and finally wanted to meet the mayor in person.

    Special Section: Mayor Under Fire

    When McGaughy interacted with Filner, she claims the mayor touched her inappropriately, kissing her on the forehead and rubbing her breast before asking her out.

    McGaughy, a workers compensation secretary in her 50s, spoke with NBC 7 on Wednesday regarding her experience with Filner.

    On the day she met Filner, McGaughy says the mayor was respectful towards her at first, but then quickly became “aggressive,” allegedly tugging at a nametag she was wearing on her blouse and touching her breast.

    “I was so shocked; I was just absolutely speechless,” she recalled. “I just stood there. I couldn’t believe it.”

    McGaughy says Filner told her she was beautiful and said he liked her before asking her out on a date. He also inquired about a ring she was wearing. He then allegedly touched her face before planting a kiss on her forehead.

    McGaughy says her friend – the mother of the 8-year-old boy who attends the school – witnessed the interaction and was also taken by complete surprise.

    “I thought he was honorable. I thought he was a great man until he showed his dark side,” she added.

    McGaughy says that after the kiss and unwanted groping, Filner put his arm around her waist, “yanking” her towards him as they walked across a school playground. She says she tried to pull away as they walked.

    McGaughy says that as she left the school with her friend, the shock of what happened set in and she became very upset. She asked her friend to stay with her until they saw Filner and his security detail drive away from the school.

    “It was just so unwarranted. I don’t know why he would behave that way. A man with his power,” she added. “He violated my space.”

    McGaughy feels it’s finally time she came forward with her story.

    “I thought it was important for me to finally speak out because I felt very uncomfortable when the incident happened, and I was really concerned that my friend’s son had seen what happened.”

    McGaughy says her friend later told her that the young boy had been aware of her interaction with Filner.

    “He said, ‘Mom, I think Mr. Filner was flirting with my Auntie Marilyn. Mommy, that’s how you act when you’re a boyfriend,’” McGaughy recalled.

    According to Gilleon, McGaughy has not yet filed any formal complaints or a civil suit. However, through her attorney, she is now submitting a “demand for payment” from the City of San Diego for $250,000.

    On Wednesday, she declined to comment on the "demand for payment" money, saying her attorney would address that portion of her case moving forward.

    San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith says the city won’t just start handing out money to accusers.

    “I don’t want to be insensitive to people that had inappropriate conduct directed to them, but not every time there’s inappropriate conduct, do you get to recover $250,000,” said Goldsmith.

    Goldsmith says the city will handle each claim concerning Filner on its own merits, first determining whether or not the city is liable by looking to see if the accuser is a city employee, volunteer or contractor.

    “We’re responsible for sexual harassment on employees, should it be proven,” he added.

    Meanwhile, Filner’s last day in the mayor’s office is Friday, given his resignation announcement. His term as mayor officially ends at 5 p.m.