Atty: Whitman knew housekeeper was in US illegally - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Atty: Whitman knew housekeeper was in US illegally

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California GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman. California GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman.
Nicky Diaz, left, former housekeeper for California GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, talks to reporters with attorney Gloria Allred in Los Angeles Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2010. Nicky Diaz, left, former housekeeper for California GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, talks to reporters with attorney Gloria Allred in Los Angeles Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2010.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former housekeeper for Meg Whitman claimed Wednesday that the California GOP gubernatorial candidate was notified by the federal government seven years ago that she might be in the country illegally, but did nothing about it.

Whitman forcefully denied the allegation, saying she never received such notification.

The allegations were made by the housekeeper, Nicky Diaz, and her attorney, Gloria Allred of Los Angeles, a longtime Democratic supporter who once gave money to Whitman's opponent, Democrat Jerry Brown.

Diaz worked for Whitman from 2000 to 2009, when she was fired.

Allred claims Whitman received a letter from the Social Security Administration on April 22, 2003, saying the Social Security number provided by the housekeeper did not match the name on file. Allred did not provide a copy of the letter. The housekeeper said she saw the letter and that Whitman and her husband never asked about her immigration status after receiving it.

Whitman denied that account.

"We never received that letter or that notification," she said after a campaign event in San Jose, Calif. "I feel terrible for Nicky. ... She's being manipulated."

During her campaign for governor, Whitman has repeatedly called for tougher sanctions against employers who hire illegal workers, starting with fines.

"We do have to hold employers accountable for hiring only documented workers. And we do have to enforce that law," she said during a debate with Brown Tuesday night.

Whitman's campaign released employment applications they said Diaz filled out when she was hired, indicating she was a legal resident. The documents included a copy of a Social Security card and a California driver's license.

The campaign said in a statement that Diaz came to Whitman and her husband in June 2009 and confessed that she had used her sister's documents to gain employment. That was five months after Whitman formed an exploratory committee to run for governor.

Allred also said Diaz was mistreated, and said she will file a claim against Whitman for back pay and mileage.

"She wants so much to help the other Nickys of this world who are working for the other Megs of this world," Allred said.

Whitman's campaign said Allred's claims are a blatant political stunt timed just weeks before the November election.

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Williams reported from Sacramento.

 

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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