Judge: Woman Claiming Sexual Harassment at Councilman's Office Needs to Reveal Her Name

The trial of the woman's case has been scheduled for June 8, 2015.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

A woman who sued the city alleging Councilman Mitch Englander's chief of staff sexually harassed her will have to disclose her name in all her future court papers, a judge ruled today.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis issued her ruling during a brief hearing. None of the attorneys offered oral arguments in support or against her ruling.

The plaintiff's lawyer, Bradley Benham, maintained that his client was entitled to continue referring to herself as "Jane Doe." But the City Attorney's Office -- representing the city along with Englander Chief of Staff John Lee -- argued that the plaintiff is not legally entitled to remain anonymous.

'While plaintiff finds it fair and acceptable that she make specious allegations against an upstanding member of the community dedicated to public service, while hiding behind a veil of anonymity, such is not the spirit of justice and equality in America, nor condoned by the law under these circumstances," defense attorneys argued in court papers filed Friday.

Benham maintained 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 stated in his court papers.

Duffy-Lewis scheduled trial of the woman's case for June 8, 2015.

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

The plaintiff claims Lee subjected her to repeated "inappropriate and offensive jokes and comments of a sexual nature," and that 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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