Thursday, July 18, 2024

California GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Meg Whitman May Have Abused Housekeeper

The issue of illegal immigration took center stage in Meg Whitman’s campaign yesterday after the Republican’s former housekeeper made allegations at a news conference that the gubernatorial candidate “abused” her.

Whitman’s former housekeeper of nine years, Nicky Diaz-Santillan, says Whitman “exploited, disrespected, humiliated and emotionally and financially abused” her.  Diaz was fired in June 2009.

Her lawyer, famed attorney Gloria Allred, said in a news conference that Diaz was fired, “for what appeared to be political reasons involving Ms. Whitman’s decision to run for governor.”

“Nicky was terminated in a sudden, cruel and heartless way,” Allred said.

Whitman’s campaign was quick to fire back, alleging that Santillan lied about her legal status in her immigration forms when she first applied for employment as a housekeeper, but Diaz says Whitman never asked her about her legal status.

Santillan first began her employment in Whitman’s household in August of 2000 after being referred by an employment agency, claims Allred.

“Nicky alleges that Ms. Whitman never asked if (she) was here legally,” Allred said.  “The inconvenient truth of the hypocrisy of Meg Whitman as illustrated by her employment of an undocumented worker and her exploitation of her was going to be revealed, because Nicky wanted to be legalized,” Allred said.

Santillan says she approached Whitman for help with her legal status, but received just the opposite of what she had hoped for.

“When I met with Meg Whitman on June 20, 2009, I asked her for assistance… I explained to her why I came to the United States. I explained that I was married and our economic situation in Mexico was very bad. We had no job, no food, no place to live and for that reason we made the decision to come here,” Santillan said.  “Ms. Whitman just laughed.”

A few days later she was fired Santillan alleges.  She now intends to file a claim for wages Whitman unfairly denied, says Allred.

“She said, ‘I cannot help you and do not say anything to my children. I will tell them you already have a new job and that you want to go to school and from now on, you don’t know me and I do not know you. You have never seen me and I have never seen you. Do you understand me?'” Santillan said.

The Whitman campaign has said the accusations are just part of an orchestration to hurt Whitman at the polls.  She is trailing Democratic opponent Jerry Brown in a tight race with little over a month left until the elections.