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Monday, Dec 09, 2013 - 131 days ago Last Blog on Earth | News

Does Irene McCormack literally work for the city of San Diego

City officials won't say

By David Rolland
IMG_1966 Bob Filner announces that he'll seek therapy soon after being accused of sexual harassment by Irene McCormack
- Photo by Kelly Davis

I've been asking city officials for months whether or not Irene McCormack still reports for duty at City Hall, and I haven't received much of an answer.

On Aug. 29, after former Mayor Bob Filner resigned, his interim replacement, City Council President Todd Gloria, announced that McCormack, Filner's director of communications, would remain in that role and that Katie Keach, who'd handled communications for Gloria's council office as part of her role as deputy chief of staff, would be moving into the Mayor's office as chief of communications. So, there would be a "director" and a "chief," but, Gloria announced, Keach would be the main point of contact for the media.

McCormack in July became the first woman to publicly accuse Filner of sexual harassment. Her accusations, which were accompanied by a lawsuit filed by attorney Gloria Allred, opened the floodgates for numerous other women to follow suit, and Filner resigned under immense pressure one month later.

In October, in response to my question, Keach said that McCormack was still employed by the city of San Diego but referred all other questions to the city's Human Resources department.

Asked in an email if McCormack physically reports to work on a regular basis, Human Resources Director Judy von Kalinowski responded only that "Ms. McCormack is an employee of the City of San Diego and is assigned to the Office of the Mayor." I've asked several times since then if McCormack actually does work, literally, in the Mayor's office, but have received no answer.

I asked Keach once more today. "Can't [answer] because of litigation," she said.

McCormack is seeking $1.5 million from the city in damages, costs for treatment and lost earnings.

I sent McCormack a text message today but haven't received a response.