Couple of quick things:

He tells the Orcutt Pioneer a bit about his time here in San Diego:

Those two years were an interesting time for Torell, to say the least. “Before I got there, six members of the board were indicted by the DA for self dealing, a couple of council members were convicted of crimes. Every day there was something in the newspaper about what was going on — it was like being in a bad soap opera!”

  • City Attorney Mike Aguirre’s many critics are demanding the press cover the many employee complaints against him. Here is a sexual harassment complaint filed against him by former Deputy City Attorney Amy Lepine. There are many points made in the complaint and they, at least, paint a picture of a bizarrely managed office. But I found the following passage in lawsuit somewhat curious:

Aguirre continually made inappropriate comments about the physical appearance of women. For example, during one of the daily meetings in the 16th floor conference room in February or early March, LEPINE noticed that AGUIRRE had a habit of telling female attorneys that they looked “like a movie star,” “beautiful,” and “gorgeous.” LEPINE felt the women tended to look as they did any other day, nothing to make them stand out as different. On a particular occasion, after AGUIRRE had told a woman that she looked “absolutely stunning” LEPINE asked AGUIRRE why he only commented on the women looking great and never the men. LEPINE made her point by telling Dan Bamberg that he looked great that day. People in the room laughed. AGUIRRE chuckled and then later remarked: “So Amy, when I was in Berkeley, I had all this sensitivity training and I want to know, how should men and women greet each other?” As LEPINE began to respond that “good morning” was a good way, Emily Ragland blurted out: “Well, when you are only complimented on how you look, it becomes clear what you’re not being complimented on like your mental ability.” Again, people laughed. AGUIRRE told her not to answer for LEPINE, that “we should have the courage of our convictions.” LEPINE simply added: “What she said” — her point having been made.

Despite LEPINE’s previous comment to AGUIRRE, AGUIRRE’s comments about the female attorneys’ physical appearance continued. On March 20, 2006, LEPINE was summoned to his office with other pension attorneys. LEPINE had a new hair cut. When AGUIRRE noticed he said, “Amy, you look great this morning.” LEPINE thanked him and told him that his remark was appropriate because LEPINE had actually done something different. AGUIRRE responded: “So, that was good that time because I was sincere?” Evidently he recognized that he was not sincere on other occasions.

Am I reading that right? Is she contending that it’s OK to compliment women in the office as long as they deserve it?

SCOTT LEWIS

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