The political flap over what California Republican Meg Whitman knew about her former housekeeper’s illegal immigration status — and when she knew it — appears to be heading for a new climax.
The woman’s lawyer says she will release evidence today that Whitman lied when she denied knowing her ex-employee was an undocumented worker.
Nicky Diaz, who worked for Whitman from 2000 to 2007, emerged this week to air tearful allegations that the Republican gubernatorial nominee knowingly employed her illegally and treated her poorly.
Whitman supporters say the allegations are a political smear timed to surface in the closing weeks of her campaign against Democratic rival Jerry Brown.
Whitman says Diaz is lying and maintains the former housekeeper provided a Social Security card and other documents to show she could work legally in the United States when she was hired.
The former eBay executive says she first learned of Diaz’ illegal status in 2009, after she had begun her run for governor, and fired the woman on the spot.
But Diaz’ attorney Gloria Allred, who has been a friend and supporter of Brown, told ABC’s Good Morning America that she will release a 2003 Social Security Administration letter that told Whitman and her husband of a mismatch involving their housekeeper’s Social Security number.
“Today, at noon in my office, we are going to produce that letter,” Allred told ABC. “That was a tip-off to her and her husband that she was employing an undocumented worker.”
Before Allred appeard on ABC, Whitman herself told the TV network that she never got a letter from the Social Security Administration in 2003 or at any other time.
“We never received those letters,” Whitman said. “We had no idea that she was not here legally.”
ABC: Absolute, unequivocal denial?
Whitman: “Absolute unequivocal denial.”
Instead, she suggested Allred was coordinating her activities with Brown.
“I wouldn’t be suprised if there was a fair amount of coordination,” Whitman said. “I don’t know. But clearly, she’s a Democrat. She’s contributed to his campaign. They’ve been working together for many years.”
Then came Allred’s denial: “No one from Jerry Brown’s campaign has contacted me. I haven’t contacted them. As far as my client goes, Nicky doesn’t know anyone in politics, was not contacted by the Brown campaign. She didn’t contact them. The only person she knows in politics is Meg Whitman.”
Photo credits: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni (Diaz and Allred); Reuters/Lucy Nicholson (Whitman); Reuters/Pool (Brown)