SAN DIEGO -- Famed attorney Gloria Allred is set to hold a news conference Monday with an alleged victim of sexual harassment by San Diego Mayor Bob Filner.
Allred, in an announcement to reporters, said that both she and her client, who is a city employee, will answer questions at the 12:30 p.m. news conference. She said a lawsuit against the mayor and the city will be filed.
Meanwhile, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department has received allegations of sexual harassment against Filner on a hotline established Friday. The department declined to say how many calls were received and would not describe the allegations.
Filner, battling accusations of sexual harassment by staff members and constituents, said late Friday that he's fine with the idea of a hotline because it might lead to an objective investigation rather than just "press conferences and innuendo."
Over the weekend, Filner attended a community event without notifying the media. When reporters discovered his presence, they rushed toward him. He kept smiling and walking and refused to answer questions.
If an investigation is warranted, the Sheriff's Department will be the lead agency, not the San Diego Police Department, which reports to the 70-year-old Democrat, officials said.
Under state law, victims of sexual abuse are provided anonymity and can be accompanied by a representative or advocate during interviews, sheriff's officials said.
Sheriff Bill Gore said that "these are extremely sensitive matters and should there be an investigation, [the Sheriff's] Department, as the lead agency, will not be providing any details as the investigation proceeds."
The Allred news conference will mark the first time that an alleged victim is identified and takes questions.
Two weeks ago, three former supporters of the mayor held a news conference to accuse him of sexual harassment and demand his resignation.
Filner responded by apologizing for crass behavior toward women and promising to change, as well as apologize to any women he has offended.
But he has refused to resign and has given indications that he plans to fight any attempt to oust him.
He insists that his behavior, while deplorable, is not sexual harassment and that he is being denied due process by having anonymous allegations made against him.
The hotline number is (619) 481-0220.
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