Whitman Says She Didn't Know Worker Was Undocumented
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Meg Whitman says that allegations she knowingly employed an undocumented housekeeper are false. However, celebrity attorney Gloria Allred says Whitman did know.
At a news conference in Los Angeles, Allred said her client, Nicky Diaz Santillan, is clear-eyed about deciding to come forward.
"It has been a very difficult decision, but she wants to do it," said Allred. "Because she wants so much to help the other Nickys of this world, who are working for the other Megs of this world."
Whitman's campaign says Diaz falsified documents when she applied for domestic work with a placement agency. Whitman reportedly fired Diaz after learning about the falsified documents.
According to a statement from Whitman, she hired Diaz through an agency in May of 2000, then hired her directly several months later.
Allred says Diaz is suing for back wages.
The Whitman campaign issued this response:
"Nicky Diaz was my housekeeper from 2000 to 2009. We consider Nicky a friend of our family and were saddened this morning to hear about her legal action.
"After 9 years of faithful service, Nicky came to us in June 2009 and confessed that she was an illegal worker. Nicky had falsified the hiring documents and personal information she provided to the employment agency that brought her to us in 2000. Nicky told me that she was admitting her deception now because she was aware that her lie might come out during the campaign. Nicky said she was concerned about hurting my family and me.
"As required by law, once we learned she was an illegal worker, I immediately terminated Nicky's employment. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I considered Nicky a friend and a part of our extended family.
"I am deeply worried about Nicky and her family. I believe Nicky is being manipulated by Gloria Allred for political and financial purposes during the last few weeks of a hotly contested election. This is a shameful example of the politics of personal destruction practiced by people like Jerry Brown and Gloria Allred. The charges are without merit. I will continue to focus my campaign on the issues that the people of California want to hear about: jobs, education and fixing our broken budget system in Sacramento."
The Whitman campaign also released a timeline of Diaz's employment and alleges that Allred is a registered Democrat who has donated to past Brown campaigns.
See the application for employment submitted by Diaz (skip to page 12 to see photocopies of a social security card and a California driver's license) (PDF).