SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A woman who sued the city and former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, claiming he sexually harassed her and committed sexual battery against her at an event three years ago, told a colleague it wasn't that big a deal and he was "just a stupid guy,'' a witness testified Monday.
RELATED: Former San Diego mayor takes stand in sex harassment trial
Kathryn Ruiz, who has worked for the city of San Diego for 28 years -- mostly in human resources -- was the first witness for the defense in trial of the suit brought by former city parks manager Stacy McKenzie.
McKenzie alleges that Filner grabbed her from behind at an April 2013 event at Mission Bay Park, pressed against her buttocks and grazed her breasts
with his arm. Ruiz, who worked with McKenzie, said the plaintiff told her what happened with Filner at the ``Clairemont Days'' celebration and Ruiz told her the incident needed to be reported. The witness said McKenzie-- who was not working at the event -- told her that Filner grabbed her from behind after she introduced herself and asked her on a date.
McKenzie said Filner never called her after getting her business card and the incident didn't make her angry or scared, according to Ruiz. Ruiz testified that McKenzie "didn't feel harassed or intimidated'' by Filner, saying the whole encounter ``just was creepy.'' Asked by a lawyer last week about alleged sexually oriented contacts with a variety of female employees, Filner responded with "That's not true, sir'' or ``That never happened, sir'' or ``No, sir.''
Filner, 73, called the day of his resignation "the saddest day of my life.''
"The whole experience was incredibly devastating,'' Filner said. "I didn't think I was guilty of many of the allegations.''
He later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery and felony false imprisonment. He was sentenced to three months on house arrest and three years probation..
McKenzie testified that she felt "doomed'' after her encounter with Filner. She alleges sexual battery by Filner, and sexual harassment and negligent failure by Filner and the city to prevent the attack. The lawsuit was filed after the city denied a $500,000 claim by McKenzie. Her lawsuit is one of two involving Filner that have not been settled. Four other similar cases were settled for more than $1 million total.
A clear and warm weekend as temperatures begin to warm. Humidity levels in the desert will gradually lower through the weekend as a weak ridge briefly builds Saturday.
San Diegans and tourists alike headed to the coast to take in all that the first day of fall has to offer.
A Navy SEAL is being held in a military brig while authorities investigate the stabbing death of an Islamic State combatant while he was subdued in Iraq last year.
A California kindergartener can keep bringing a cannabis-based drug used for emergency treatment of a rare form of epilepsy to her public school, a judge ruled Friday.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer signed two resolutions with Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum supporting international trade and border infrastructure programs.
City Attorney Mara Elliott announced that her office, in coordination with other state and city agencies, reached a $1.6 million settlement with Whole Foods Market California Inc. and two related entities resolving allegations of unlawful handling and disposal of hazardous waste and materials.
Police arrested a 32-year-old Escondido man on suspicion of murder in connection with the shooting death of an unidentified male at a bar on West Grand Avenue.
A woman was killed when she stepped out of her boyfriend's car onto a Chula Vista street and was struck by a passing vehicle, authorities said Saturday.
Residents in La Mesa’s Eastridge area are trying to solve a mystery surrounding a dinosaur. The Tyrannosaurus Rex statue appeared on an empty plot of land sometimes over the past few days with no explanation.
Three major freeway closures across San Diego County will put the brakes on several routes from east to west this weekend. The first closure is the eastbound SR-94 connector to southbound SR-125 on Saturday, September 22.