Accuser McCormack Jackson to Filner: You will not be missed - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Accuser McCormack Jackson to Filner: You will not be missed

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The first woman to publicly accuse San Diego Mayor Bob Filner of sexual harassment said Friday she was relieved the city has "rid itself" of him.

Irene McCormack Jackson, who hired Los Angeles-based lawyer Gloria Allred and sued Filner and the city, said in a statement emailed to reporters that she was glad he will no longer be able to "prey on" more women.

"My thoughts are with the courageous women, who because they spoke out, galvanized the residents of this great city and its elected leaders to rise up against a serial sexual harasser and a gross abuser of power," said McCormack Jackson, his former communications aide. "Bye bye, Bob. You will not be missed."

Allred said it was their lawsuit that prompted three days of mediation that ended with Filner's agreement to resign.

"If Irene had not come forward and if we had not filed a lawsuit on her behalf, I think it is fair to say that instead of resigning today Mayor Filner would still be engaging in the same despicable, harassing and sexually inappropriate conduct which led Irene, followed by 17 other women, to come forward to complain about the mayor's conduct," Allred said.

"We are delighted that the mayor has resigned," Allred said. "I hope that we never see another elected official who thinks that he can target women and sexually harass them in the way that Mayor Filner did."

McCormack Jackson alleged he told her she should work without her panties on, that he wanted to see her naked and that he could not wait to consummate their relationship.

Filner also allegedly demanded kisses from McCormack Jackson and put his arm around her and dragged her along in a headlock while making sexual remarks.

San Diego County Democratic Party Chairwoman Francine Busby said she shares the relief of area residents that Filner heeded numerous calls for his resignation.

Busby said the women who came forward to accuse Filner of sexual harassment deserve appreciation, compassion, and support.

"No one should have to endure the behavior they reported, including the disrespect that Mr. Filner has already acknowledged," Busby said.

The party's Central Committee failed to recommend his resignation in a meeting held after the allegations were first lodged. However, a meeting was held a week later, and a call for him to resign was approved.

Tony Krvaric, chairman of the Republican Party of San Diego County, released a statement in which he said he previously predicted Filner would be a "disaster" and "embarrassment" to the city because of his temperament.

"Mayor Filner's failings were widely known," Krvaric said. "Had local union and Democratic leadership not looked the other way for crass political, ideological reasons, this sad chapter in our city's history could have been avoided."

Former Councilman Carl DeMaio, who said he is conferring with supporters as he weighs a bid to run for mayor in a special election, said Filner's resignation gives the city a fresh start.

"Now is the time to put aside partisan differences to seek healing, foster unity and restore stability at City Hall," said DeMaio, who narrowly lost to Filner in last year's runoff election.

"San Diegans from all walks of life, and every political party, worked together to demand Bob Filner leave office -- and that unity of purpose should not stop with today's development.

Todd Gloria, who will become interim mayor when Filner leaves office next week, said the deal that resulted in the resignation was "a worthy settlement" that limits the city's liability and ends a "civic nightmare."

Councilman Kevin Faulconer, who along with Gloria helped negotiate the settlement, said "this was one of the most difficult and trying times in the history of our city."

San Diegans know that "we are better that what has happened, than what has taken place," Faulconer said.

Faulconer credited San Diegans who worked on a recall campaign that began collecting signatures on Sunday, which he said hastened Filner's departure.

Councilwoman Lorie Zapf called Filner "an abusive man" who used his power in the worst of ways.

Zapf said she experienced his "angry and demeaning attitude" toward women several times, but not sexual harassment.

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