Eleventh Filner Accuser Steps Forward

by Sterling Beard

San Diego mayor Bob Filner now has an eleventh accuser — a woman who alleges he sexually harassed her when she went to ask him to aid a Marine who’d endured a brain injury and post-traumatic-stress disorder during her service in Iraq.

CBS 8 reports that Michelle Tyler, a licensed vocational nurse, accused Filner of harassing her in the mayor’s office on June 11, about a month before the mayor’s former communications director filed a lawsuit accusing the mayor of harassment and making his behavior public.

Attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing Filner’s original accuser too, explained that the nurse had originally gone to Filner when he was a congressman seeking help for for Katherine Ragazzino, the Marine, who was ensnared in some Veterans Administration red tape.

Allred said that when Tyler returned along with Ragazzino in mid June to ask the now-mayor for help, the mayor appeared willing to help “but at a price.”

“In other words, Mayor Filner wanted Ms. Tyler to help him fulfill his sexual needs if she wanted his help for a deserving war veteran,” Allred said.

Tyler, reading from a statement, said that at one point during the meeting, Filner asked the Marine to leave and the conversation quickly became personal.

“He made it very clear that his expectation was that his help for Katherine was contingent on my willingness to go to dinner with him, spend personal time with him, be seen in public with him,” Tyler said, alleging that Filner rubbed her arm and told her to relax.

Allred said Tyler doesn’t plan to file a lawsuit but wants city attorney Jan Goldsmith to investigate; Goldsmith says his office is investigating the allegations.

Before Tyler, the most recent accuser of Filner explained that he had harassed her at a church breakfast held to raise funds for a group that aids African refugees. 

Filner started two weeks of behavioral therapy Monday.

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