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Filner's attorneys want to move case outside San Diego

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - San Diego Mayor Bob Filner's legal team wants a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him moved to Imperial County, but plaintiff's attorney Gloria Allred said Wednesday she would oppose the motion.

"We do not believe that venue should be changed from San Diego County to Imperial County in this case. We are confident an impartial jury can be in San Diego County," Allred said. The Los Angeles-based women's rights attorney represents Irene McCormack Jackson, Filner's former communications director.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Richard Strauss set a Sept. 16 hearing to consider pretrial motions, including the attempt by Filner's lawyers to move the case to Imperial County.

His attorneys said the change of venue was being sought because of "widespread, unrelenting, intense and outspoken" publicity about the allegations against the former congressman.

Filner attorneys Harvey Berger and James Payne want to quash, or legally reject, a subpoena from the City Attorney's Office and have said Filner would will not be at a deposition set for Friday.

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said the next opportunity to depose Filner will be Sept. 17.

"Obviously, Mr. Filner does not want to testify under penalty of perjury and will use every means to avoid having to do that," Goldsmith said. "He can delay it, but he can't stop it."

Allred said she and McCormack -- the surname she uses professionally -- were questioned for about two hours on Monday by San Diego County sheriff's detectives, who asked for the meeting at the state Attorney General's office.

A note from a psychologist has been circulated among San Diego reporters, which reads: "To Whom It May Concern: Robert Filner is currently under my care in an intensive treatment program and will be unavailable for deposition on August 9, 2013."

The name of the person who wrote the note was blacked out.

Allred said Filner's case should be heard in San Diego.

"The conduct we allege in out lawsuit occurred in San Diego. We allege that Mayor Filner sexually harassed our client ... in San Diego. We believe that the case should be heard and decided by a jury of Mayor Filner's peers who reside in San Diego."

McCormack, who is among 13 women who have accused Filner of sexual harassment, claims Filner asked her to work without underwear.

On Monday, Filner started a two-week behavior modification program after refusing requests to resign.

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