SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The woman who was the first to publicly accuse Bob Filner of sexual harassment -- and to file a lawsuit -- will return to her job as communications director in the San Diego mayor's office when he steps down Friday.
Irene McCormack Jackson was given another city job earlier this summer when she complained about Filner's behavior. Nearly 20 women, a couple of them city employees, followed her footsteps and accused the mayor of unwanted sexual advances.
McCormack Jackson alleges Filner 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.
It was mediation over the McCormack Jackson lawsuit that led the 70-year-old mayor to resign after less than nine months in office. He will officially step down at 5 p.m. Friday and be replaced on an interim basis by City Council President Todd Gloria, who announced McCormack Jackson's return.
Mediation is continuing in her lawsuit.
"The Office of the Mayor will be staffed by experienced, responsible and responsive individuals who share my goal of moving the city forward in a transparent, collaborative way," Gloria said.
He also said Jamie Fox will continue to be his chief of staff and Katie Keach will remain his primary media contact. Senior policy adviser Stephen Hill will run Gloria's council district office, he said.
Several members of Filner's staff have been informed that they will be staying on during the interim period, Gloria said. Other staffing changes will be announced later, he said.
News 8 caught up with Gloria as he ran from meeting to meeting. He says he's been meeting with department directors and city staff to make sure he knows exactly what he's walking into.
"I'm ready, I'm ready and want the people of this city to know we're not going to miss a beat," Gloria said. "We have to take the attention away from tabloid news and sexual misconduct allegations and put it back on road repair, public safety, and the kinds of things I don't think were being paid attention to not just over the last few weeks, but the last few months."
No formal events are scheduled to mark the transition.
Meanwhile, the race for mayor is picking up steam. On Thursday, Nathan Fletcher, the only major name to officially say he's running, picked up the endorsement of the San Diego City Firefighters Association.
"Nathan has demonstrated a true commitment to public service and public safety. He fought for our nation in the Marine Corp, and understands what it means to put your life on the line so that others may be safe," Frank De Clercq said.
Fletcher also picked up the endorsement of the San Diego Municipal Employees Association.
News 8 asked Gloria if he's made up his mind on whether or not he'll run in the special election. He said a decision is just days away.
"I certainly appreciate all the encouragement I'm getting from folks, that certainly is helpful. But the decision isn't going to be made on popularity, it's going to be made on what I think is right for the city and I hope that people can be patient as I make that decision," he said.
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