Friday, October 1, 2010

Meg Whitman And Her Illegal Maid

The former housekeeper for Meg Whitman, Nicky Diaz, is filing a wrongful termination suit against Meg Whitman claiming that the current Republican candidate knew that she was illegal when she hired her and fired her after she launched her gubernatorial bid. Meg Whitman stated that she fired her when Nicky Diaz confessed that she lied about her immigration status and that she was required under the law to fire her once her true immigration status was known.
However, Meg Whitman has produced documents showing that the Nicky Diaz lied about her immigration status when she applied to work as a housekeeper for the Whitman family. Lets not forget that the employment agency that provided the houseworker apparently also vetted her before allowing her to work for the Whitmans. She must have lied to the employment agency as well. Regardless, the documents provided by the Whitmans clearly shows that Nicky Diaz stated under the penalty of perjury that she was a "lawful permanent resident" of the United States and provided documents in the form of a social security card and driver's license as proof of her immigration status. 
Nicky Diaz's attorney, Gloria Allred claims that  she has proof that Meg Whitman is lying and knew that Nicky was an illegal when she hired her and says she can prove it in the form of a 2003 letter from the Social Security Administration (SSA) which purportedly shows that the SSA notified Meg Whitman about Nicky Diaz immigration status. Gloria Allred has provided the SSA letter to the press and Meg Whitman's husband isn't saying much about whether or not it is his handwriting on the letter. I fail to see how Meg Whitman's husband handwritten note asking the maid six or seven years ago to take care of the SSA letter proves she is lying. In fact, the evidence clearly suggests that the Whitmans trusted her enough to hand the letter to her and have her take care of it and Nicky Diaz probably lied about having taken care of it. 
This evidence is no smoking gun and proves nothing. It is less compelling than a President's white stain on an intern's blue dress.
Even though Gloria Allred has the letter, the story has no legs because the letter doesn't really prove anything since the letter simply asks the recipient to double check to ensure that the name on the employee’s Social Security card match the name and number in the SSA letter. But we don't know if there was a match or not. Regardless, the letter itself specifically states that the letter cannot be used to verify her immigration status nor can it be used to terminate the employee based on the letter. Moreover, the SSA letter says that the red flag could be for any number of reasons such as a transposed number, name change and in cases of Hispanic using the wrong last name since Hispanics sometimes go by two different names. So, until more information comes to light, Gloria Allred doesn't have a case based on what the letter states.
In fact, this case might actually backfire on Gloria Allred. 
For starters, Hugh Hewitt, a conservative attorney and talk radio host, invited Nicky Diaz's attorney on his radio show and she was unable to articulate any violation of law when Meg Whitman fired the housekeeper. In fact, just before Gloria Allred came on the show, Mr. Hewitt invited another well known liberal attorney named Erwin Chemerinsky who stated that Meg Whitman followed the law when dismissing the Nicky Diaz. If you can't state the law, you don't have a case.
Another problem for Gloria Allred is the timing of the lawsuit which harm her own credibility and her client's credibility. She is bringing this suit weeks before California voters will decided if Jerry Brown or Meg Whitman will become the next Governor of California. This isn't the first time she has attempted to use her position as a lawyer to have an impact on the California elections. Hugh Hewitt has pointed out that Gloria Allred brought forth a sexual harassment on behalf of Rhonda Miller against Arnold Schwarzenegger just days before Californians went to the voting booth. That case was ultimately dismissed.
The timing of the law suit also hurts Nicky Diaz's credibility as well. Her credibility is already under suspicion since the Meg Whitman campaign has shown that she lied about her immigration status. Remember, we have a woman who was Meg Whitman's housekeeper for nine years and was fired a year and a half ago. Bringing up the lawsuit now only further damages her credibility because if Nicky Diaz was really fired just after Meg decided to run for governor, why didn't she file the suit immediately after the discharge? Why wait a year and a half to sue just weeks before California vote on their next governor?  The law suit would have hurt Meg Whitman even more when she was duking it out with Steve Poizner during the California primaries. Voters may have been turned off by this and switched to Steve Poizner. 
But to file the suit now reeks of a political play which only harms Gloria and Nicky. Most Californians should be able to see right through this charade and see what Gloria Allred is really attempting to smear Meg to help Jerry Brown win the election. Another conservative attorney and talk radio host, Mark Levin had Gloria Allred on his show to figure out whether or not this lawsuit is politically motivated or not. Its worth listening to because he points out that she may have committed legal malpractice by posing her client to perjury, falsifying SS card, and deportation.
But this case isn't helping but hurting Jerry Brown. Gloria Allred is a well known supporter of the Democratic party who has contributed exclusively to Democrats. Moreover, she has made campaign donations to Jerry Brown twice in which she gave $1,000 to Jerry Brown in 1982 for his bid to become a U.S. Senator and gave him $150 in 2006. Moreover, a picture has surfaced showing Gloria Allred and Jerry Brown sitting together at a CSPAN panel in 1994 which you can see below.
Of course, Gloria Allred denies that there is any communication or collusion going on between her and Jerry Brown. I don't believe her denial. Even if it wasn't true, just the fact Gloria Allred appears to have a close personal and political relationship with Jerry Brown damages her case already. It also reeks of a potential conflict of interest. It also reeks of bias. A jury would frown on this kind of relationship between Allred and Brown.
Allahpundit, over at Hot Air, thinks that Jerry Brown and the democrats have made a great play here. I disagree. Its a horrible play and even liberals are seeing right through it. Nobody can take Gloria Allred seriously. Everyone knows she is a publicity hound who loves to get clients who can help her get in front of the news camera or on the front page. However, Gloria may have gone to far as to discredit herself permanently in the future. No one will believe her the next time she brings another client to a press conference. And it hurts Jerry Brown too since he's trying to milk this story for all its worth without appearing to do so. 
Unless there are new developments, this story will backfire on a publicity hungry lawyer and a incompetent democratic politician.

Update 10.2.10: More evidence of Gloria Allred's bias towards Jerry Brown has come to light. There is an old American Bar Association article that states that Gloria Allred spent "four years" working  for Jerry Brown's gubernatorial campaign in the 1970s before starting her legal practice.

The other news is TPM is reporting that Meg Whitman failed to sign and date the housekeeper's I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form.which may be in violation of  the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. This revelation may have no impact on California voters and its not clear how this will help Nicky Diaz's suit to recover unpaid wages of $ 23 an hour from Meg Whitman. 

1 comment:

  1. I can't imagine that anyone who has a housekeeper for 9 years doesn't know their true legal status. Whether it's plausibly deniable is a different matter. The real issue is that immigration needs to be fixed. Housekeepers aren't the problem.