Plaintiff Suing Mitch Englander's Chief of Staff and City Argues to Stay Anonymous

The woman is alleging John Lee sexually harassed her. The judge in the case has asked for a good reason why she should remain a "Jane Doe."

L.A. City Councilman Mitch Englander.
L.A. City Councilman Mitch Englander.

A woman who alleges Councilman Mitch Englander's chief of staff sexually harassed her should be allowed to proceed with her case without revealing her name in court, the plaintiff's attorney argues in court papers filed this week.

The plaintiff's lawyer, Bradley Benham, filed a four-page explanation in response to an April 22 request from Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis, who said she wanted him to outline why his client should be allowed to continue referring to herself as "Jane Doe" in court documents.

The city, named in the suit along with Englander Chief of Staff John Lee, argues that the plaintiff is not legally entitled to remain anonymous.

Benham countered that the City Attorney's Office already knows who the woman is, undermining any argument the city may make that it is prejudiced by the plaintiff's stand.

"Plaintiff has only attempted to hide her identity in publicly filed court documents," Benham states in his court papers. "In the interest of justice, she should be able to continue to proceed with anonymity to protect her legitimate privacy rights."

The plaintiff wants to protect her confidentiality in a matter involving "a highly sensitive topic of sexual harassment" in a case against "widely known, broadcasted public figures," Benham wrote.

A hearing is scheduled June 5 before Duffy-Lewis.

The woman sued Sept. 16, alleging discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination, all in violation of the state Fair Employment and Housing Act.

The plaintiff alleges Lee subjected her to repeated "inappropriate and offensive jokes and comments of a sexual nature." She also maintains she was denied a chance to apply for a job as a public safety deputy because she was not a white male.

The plaintiff was hired as a secretary in February 2012 and was later promoted to a field deputy post, according to Benham. She maintains she was forced to quit her job in April 2013 because of Lee's alleged misconduct.

--City News Service


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