San Diego Mayor Bob Filner’s office canceled multiple new employee and management training sessions in the first months of his term, a former top city official said late Wednesday. The sessions included direction to complete legally required sexual harassment training, two City Hall sources with knowledge of the situation said.
These statements contradict the version of events offered by Filner’s attorney Harvey Berger in a letter to City Attorney Jan Goldsmith. In the letter, Berger contends the city is liable for Filner’s legal fees in his sexual harassment lawsuit because of the failed training. Berger claims that city trainers “unilaterally cancelled” the sessions and never rescheduled.
“Had the city provided mandatory sexual harassment training to Mayor Filner, [former spokeswoman Irene] McCormack Jackson may never have brought her lawsuit,” Berger wrote in the July 29 letter.
Former city Chief Operating Officer Jay Goldstone said Filner’s office canceled several training sessions, which would have covered payroll, benefits and other employee and management roles and responsibilities, because the mayor’s office said it didn’t have time for them.