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Former press secretary wants $1.5 million from San Diego ex-mayor

By Marty Graham

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - The one-time communications director for now-disgraced former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner wants nearly $1.5 million in damages for being subjected to the offensive behavior that led to his resignation.

Irene McCormack Jackson, 57, said Filner's suggestion that she would work better without panties, his attempt to kiss her and exclamations of sexual desire for her caused "emotional distress, pain and suffering (that) amount to $950,000," according to court documents filed in San Diego Superior Court.

The statement of damages was added on October 17 to a lawsuit Jackson filed in July against Filner and the city.

Jackson seeks an additional $70,000 for treatment. She also asks for $11,000 in lost income and $450,000 for loss of future earnings, a number that may increase since the exact extent of future losses cannot be determined now, the court documents say.

Jackson started working for Filner after he was sworn in last January, and was being paid $125,000 a year. After she complained about his behavior, she was moved to a different city department at the same salary.

Her lawsuit was filed two weeks after other women went public with complaints that Filner subjected them to raunchy comments and inappropriate touching. All told, more than a dozen women came forward claiming they were asked on dates, intimidated or patted on the backside.

Filner, now 71, apologized and eventually underwent psychological treatment, but lost the support of his own political party, the entire city council and the public. He resigned at the end of August.

Neither the city attorney nor Filner could be reached for comment on Saturday.

(Reporting by Marty Graham; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Eric Walsh)

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