Whitman admits hiring undocumented housekeeper

September 30, 2010

Meg Whitman admitted Wednesday that she paid an undocumented worker to clean her residence and provide other services in her home for nine years but insisted that she had been unaware of the woman’s immigration status.

The Republican gubernatorial candidate, who has vowed throughout the campaign to crack down on illegal immigration, initially hired Nicandra Diaz Santillan through an employment agency.

Whitman said at the time of hiring that Diaz Santillan showed her a copy of her Social Security card and California driver’s license, and campaign officials distributed those documents to the media.

The former E-Bay CEO said she fired Diaz Santillan in June 2009 after the woman revealed that she was living in the country illegally.

However, Diaz Santillan said at a Wednesday news conference in the office of her attorney, Gloria Allred, that Whitman had been aware she was undocumented and used that knowledge to exploit her on the job.

The allegations bring to mind the failed U.S. Senate campaign of Santa Barbara millionaire Michael Huffington, who barely lost to Dianne Feinstein in 1994 after it was reveal he had also hired undocumented workers.

Just lasr Tuesday night, in the debate against her Democratic opponent, Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown, Whitman had reiterated her disapproval of employers who hire illegal immigrants, saying, “We do have to hold employers accountable for hiring only documented workers, and we do have to enforce that law.”

Analysts say the new allegations could hurt Whitman’s standing with Hispanic voters and conservatives who are already upset with her for being too soft on immigration.


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danika

Yes, I stand by my decision to be willingly exploited for $23 an hour. I watched the “victim” weep in the arms of Alred; I saw her frail body tremble as extreme emotion over took her, choking her up and preventing her from reading the canned speech she was provided by her attorney…I nearly wept myself! Yeah, right.


That woman was not exploited, she is exploiting her place as ex-housekeeper in the soon-to-be-governor’s home. She hasn’t filed lawsuit yet; she just wants the public to be warned about the other “Megs” that are out there…expoiting housekeepers for 9 long years by paying them the unfair wage of $23 per hour….sheesh…


whatisup

More thorough news reports tell a different story. First, it is true that Gloria Allred is well known in California for these stunts and she is a close friend of Jerry Brown.


In addition, Reuters News Service is now reporting (3:45pm Wed.) the following: The Whitman campaign released a U.S. Immigration and Naturalization employment eligibility verification form signed by Diaz when she was hired by Whitman in which she asserts under penalty of perjury that she is a lawful permanent resident.


In California this is simply not going to change a person’s mind as there is no surprise here. The real question is how did Ms. Diaz end up as a client of Gloria Allred, friend of Jerry Brown and whose office is in Los Angeles? It sounds like Allred tracked down Diaz to see if there was any dirt.


danika

Okay. I can be exploited for less than the $23 per hour wage this undocumented woman received. Just sayin…


slomike

Usually that $23 or so goes to the agency. The employee gets significantly less. Just remeberin’…


Nancy

She was hired through an employment agency but did not work for an agency. If that were the case Whitman could not be blamed and would not have been required to complete any gov forms or file any payroll taxes.


danika

And are you remembering she didn’t work for the agency? Just highered by it. Her wages were paid to her by the Whitmans…just sayin…again….


slomike

I hear the job is available, for those who could be exploited for $23 per hour. Seems like a nice boss. I’ll bet she is a Compassionate Conservative. Someone you would like to have a beer with. Qualifies her in the eyes of the GOP/Tea Party.


bobfromsanluis

So you too want to be exploited for $23 an hour? My understanding of the ladies claim of being exploited was that although the arrangement was for $23 an hour, BUT, she was also “forced” to work more than the fifteen hours she was paid to be there, apparently many more hours, most weeks. So, are you sure that you are ready to be exploited ?


Nancy

I saw her on TV saying that Meg told her that “you don’t know me and I don’t know you, do you understand”, “you never saw me and I never saw you”. I don’t believe this for one minute. That isn’t even plausible considering that she worked for Meg for 9 years and many people would have seen her at the house and running errands. That is something that the maid clearly made up. I have no reason to believe that Meg Whitman made her work many extra hours without pay. Meg Whitman could well afford to pay this housekeeper for all her hours and I believe she did.


whatisup

Nancy – It is your kind of observation that will poke the holes in this Allred stunt. Allred is a personal friend of Jerry Brown and an extreme, extreme left winger. Allred does not believe the rules apply to her and the ends justify the means. Lying is simply another tool to her.


bobfromsanluis

So Nancy, it comes down to a “she said/ she said” for you? As I asked Jeff Bliss on Dave Congalton’s show today; “I am no fan of Allred, and I have no difficulty in believing that the Brown Campaign knew about this issue, but what if after all of this comes out and it is determined to be true that Meg Whitman and/or her husband KNEW that Ms. Diaz was an undocumented worker, what happens then?” That is what I would like all of you Whitman supporters to answer here; what if it is true? Would it be okay with you if Meg Whitman is a hypocrite?


Cindy

Why would Meg Whitman hire an illegal? First she went through an employment agency to find this person. Second she paid the payroll taxes so again, why would she hire an illegal? She had no reason to. I also agree that it makes no sense that Whitman would tell this Diaz woman that “you don’t know me and I don’ know you”. The woman was hired through an agency and Whitman paid her taxes on the IRS 940/941 forms and the State DE7s. Do you expect us to believe that Whitman is a blooming idiot? That is something that someone who is extremely ignorant would say, like that ridiculous housekeeper that is looking for free money and a free immigration attorney. Don’t know if Allred went looking for Diaz or vise versa but they both have something to gain and it’s a marriage made in hell although they both mistake it for heaven.


whatisup

bobfromsanluis – Do you believe Jerry Brown is a hypocrite when he claims, with a straight face, that he will bargain hard with the unions. Seriously, the man who has been joined at the hip for over forty years with the unions; the man whose political base is the unions; we should vote for him because he is the man we should trust to bargain hard with the unions.


California has a $20 billion dollar budget deficit. It means unpopular cuts to the budget, but the budget must be balanced. Jerry Brown is just the wrong person for the job at hand in California right now.


bobfromsanluis

Whatisup: No, I don’t think that Jerry Brown is a hypocrite for saying he is going to do a thing he has promised to do; the reason Meg is a hypocrite is for what she said versus what she actually did (apparently). As to Jerry Brown claiming that he will bargain “hard” with the unions; I firmly believe that the public employee unions understand the anger being directed towards them as the scapegoat for the budget woes in California and that Jerry Brown understands that as well so there will be negotiations that result in the pensions and pay scales being pulled back from where they are now. Jerry Brown knows that if he does not, he will not be able to accomplish much else in Sacramento so the unions will support him because even though he will be bargaining “hard” with them, that will be better for them then to have Meg Whitman come in and try to shut them down completely.


SLOBIRD

I would suggest you go to the Secretary of State listing for Jerry Brown contributors and count the unions and casinos and then tell us all you really believe he will bargain hard. If he should win based on the tactics he uses (oh, I’m for the death penalty – go read about the appt of State Supreme Justice Rose Bird, met fly mess, etc.) I hope you come back to this group in a year and apologize to all of us who remember the Brown of the 70’s.


slomike

I would bet big that those words came from Whitman. And when challenged I’ll bet she goes with the more recent Republican lie, “I don’t recall…..”


danika

Sounds like every job i’ve had that didn’t pay me more than $10 an hour!


racket

Has Diaz-Santillan been deported? Is she here legally now? Is she still here illegally?


slomike

It’s never the crime, it’s the cover up. Even if everyone is lying, Whitman is the greatest offender. If an action can be seen as wrongdoing, you don’t do it. If you did it, don’t wake up and decide to be governor. If you run anyway and get caught, don’t start lying or looking for legal technicalities. There is a small (to Republicans) issue known as ethics. That is the standard to use at this point. If you have to resolve to legal defenses, you’re not qualified for the office.


Cindy

I should add that just because Diaz was obviously latino and Spanish speaking with an accent it would have been illegal to assume that she should have a green card. If she had a SS card with her name on it and a current drivers license then she did not need a green card or a passport (although those documents can also qualify an employee) to meet any of the two requirements to satisfy the eligibility demands of the I9 form. Whitman was legally bound to accept the SS card and the DL as proof unless there was reason to believe that the documents were forgeries.


getwithit

I agree that Whitman was legally bound to accept the SS card and DL that Diaz presented as proof but unless Whitman is able to see original documents it makes it difficult to determine whether or not the documents contained in the photocopy were forgeries. Which was my point below in printing out the I-9 instructions, it states on the first page that “Employees (Diaz) must present original documents. Employers (Whitman) may, but are not required to, photocopy the document(s) presented.” I’ve hired a lot of people too and I’ve gone to a bunch of seminars and each time it is stressed that the employer see original docs as part of the I-9 process. I know, those “original” docs can still be forged (paper SS cards don’t have much security built into them) but at the end of the day, if Whitman can boldly say that employers must be held accountable as part of her platform, she’s got to be able to as well and reading the instructions to a Federal form might have been a good starting point.


Cindy

What makes you think that Whitman didn’t examine the original documents? There is nothing that say’s Whitman accepted photo copies. It’s reported that Whitman is in possession of the I9 form and photo copies of the documents. That is what an employer is supposed to do, photo copy the qualifying documents and attach them to the I9 for their records.

What makes you think that she didn’t read the instructions on the I9 form? I haven’t seen where she did anything to indicate that she didn’t follow the instructions perfectly.


whatdouno

One is required to have an I-9, true. However if Ms Whitman was in possession of copies of the documents it is reasonable to believe she had done due diligence in complying with the examination of the documents. Let’s not get crazy and go overboard about her lacking a piece of paper. How many people follow the letter of the law implicitly? It was a long time ago, she probably wasn’t considering running for governor and didn’t see it as much of a big deal, since she had the documents. People need to stop being so high and mighty about little mistakes when we ALL make them.


Saveslocounty

One wouldn’t want to hire a documented alien as you would be responsible for paying a social security contribution for your employee. I think that was part of the problem with Huffington.


getwithit

The Federal form I-9 is a required to prove that an employee is eligible to work in the United States. From the instructions: “employers must sign and date the certification in Section 2. Employees must present original documents. From the form: Certification: I attest, under penalty of perjury, that I have examined the document(s) presented by the above-named employee, that the above-listed document(s) appear to be genuine and to relate to the employee named, that the employee began employment on xx/xx/xxxx and that to the best of my knowledge the employee is authorized to work in the United States. Dear Meg, a COPY of her social security card and California driver’s license does not comply with the instructions for the I-9. Accountability?


Cindy

A copy of a social security card and a current drivers license does comply with the requirements of the I9 form. Take another look. I have hired many people right up until 2008 and I know for a fact that those 2 documents are all that is required.