Gloria Allred's New Target: Meg Whitman

Attorney Gloria Allred is coming to the aid of another damsel in distress. This time, it's the former Latina housekeeper of California Gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman. Allred will be holding a press conference later today. TMZ reports:

We're told the housekeeper has lawyered up with none other than Gloria Allred. The housekeeper and Allred will hold a news conference today in Gloria's office at 11 AM PT, "to tell how she suffered as a long-time, Latina household employee in Meg Whitman's home."

We're told the housekeeper will be filing a legal claim against Ms. Whitman. From what we're hearing, the disclosures could have a significant impact on the campaign and possibly the election.

TMZ will live-stream the conference and says it's one not to miss. It also has this photo-stream of Allred's "Greatest Hits."

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    Housekeeper was undocumented (5.00 / 0) (#4)
    by scribe on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 01:17:38 PM EST
    and Meggie knew about it - "mismatch of SSN" letters from social security which required employer to validate and respond.

    Housekeeper saw the social security letters in the trash, where Meg had thrown them.

    Also apparent wage and hour violations.

    Housekeeper wanted to be legalized, so Meg fired her.

    So the allegations go.

    This is one time I'm liking Allred.

    What kind of person (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by NYShooter on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 06:46:49 PM EST
     has an employee for 9 years, and when a problem which the employee brings up themselves comes up, fires that person immediately?

    I mean, doesn't the employer, beyond filthy rich, have even a semblance of a heart?

    Most of us wouldn't treat a stray dog or cat this way.

    Ya, merely A problem. (none / 0) (#31)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 09:17:47 PM EST
    What kind of employer who discovers that her employee has been lying to her for 9 straight years doesn't can the employee, toot-sweet?

    Just sayin' (none / 0) (#2)
    by scribe on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 12:57:20 PM EST
    Clicking thru to the TMZ site and getting a look at the pic of EBay Meg, the first thing that popped into my head was "if she puts on a hoodie, she's a dead ringer for the Emperor from Star Wars".

    What is it about being an executive or (Republican) politician that makes the people doing those jobs look like movie villains?  Or is it a case of "at 18 you have the face you were born with and at 50 you have the face you deserve"?  'Cause EBay Meg is not the first Republican about whom that example of convergent face evolution has been applied.

    Just sayin'.

    I actually went to college and business school (none / 0) (#3)
    by steviez314 on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 01:02:20 PM EST
    with Meg...and while she was not quite the beauty then, let me just say I've aged much better.

    Nikki was being paid 23/hour. (none / 0) (#5)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 01:33:26 PM EST
    There are certainly no citizens who would do that job...

    Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by squeaky on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 01:38:39 PM EST
    But I am sure that it was not the $$ that would stop a US citizen from doing the job, it was more likely the demeaning treatment that would have to be tolerated by a legal resident.

    considering her background she hit the jackpot.

    For 15 hours only, no matter (5.00 / 0) (#8)
    by Anne on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 01:51:42 PM EST
    how many hours she actually worked.  So, if she worked 40 hours, that $23/hour goes to $8.62/hour; now how attractive does it sound?  She worked for the woman for 9 years and never got a raise, never got reimbursed for her mileage schlepping the Whitman kids around and running errands.

    But, she was undocumented, so I guess Whitman figured she could bully her, and as an undocumented worker, Allred's client didn't think she had any recourse - she needed the job.


    Doesn't sound nearly as attractive. (none / 0) (#9)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 01:59:09 PM EST
    Although, to be fair, I used to work for a SFX house as a runner using my personal vehicle, back in the day, and I never got mileage either. I was paid a certain amount (less than 8.62/hr) and did what I was hired to do. I didn't complain, I was happy to have a job.

    She Spent How Much... (none / 0) (#10)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 02:07:17 PM EST
    ... of her own money on the campaign, $100M I believe, yet couldn't afford a US citizen to do the chores, or at the very least, toss the undocumented a little health care.

    I am so sick of the uber wealthy burning money on the most frivolous crap, while treated their employees like surfs.

    What is wrong with them ?

    tax shelters too, like the ones Brown has a bunch of money in.

    Is this the same Scott (none / 0) (#22)
    by Rojas on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 03:45:13 PM EST
    who is of the opinion roofers should be getting by on the same 12-15 bucks a square they got 25 years ago. Yea right, what's wrong with them.

    Nope (none / 0) (#33)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 09:23:34 AM EST
    I think it was $119 million. (none / 0) (#11)
    by Angel on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 02:13:22 PM EST
    What's the legal status of the housekeeper now?  Anyone know?  

    Same as it always has been, afaik. (none / 0) (#13)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 02:14:51 PM EST
    She has two lawyers (none / 0) (#14)
    by scribe on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 02:16:04 PM EST
    Allred, for the employment and wage and hour issues, and VanDerHoot (or something similar) for immigration issues.  Apparently VanDerSomething is a certified specialist in immigration issues.

    That should tell you.  


    Marc Van Der Hout (none / 0) (#15)
    by Peter G on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 02:24:37 PM EST
    is a former president of the National Lawyers Guild, the head of his own firm, a former "California Lawyer" magazine "Attorney of the Year," a board member of the American Immigration Lawyers Ass'n, and one of the Bay Area's top immigration attorneys.

    OK. Allred and he gave his name (none / 0) (#17)
    by scribe on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 02:30:43 PM EST
    during the presser, but the mike pickup was crap.

    Consider for a second, though, what it means for him to have taken the housekeeper's case.

    Allred might get a bit of a sneer because she's Allred, but Van's a big gun and not to be sneered at.


    Who's paying for the lawyers? (none / 0) (#20)
    by republicratitarian on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 03:33:26 PM EST
    Pro bono? (none / 0) (#21)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 03:35:05 PM EST
    Probably so, but I'm curious how (none / 0) (#23)
    by republicratitarian on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 04:10:05 PM EST
    she ended up in contact with such high profile representation at this juncture in the election cycle.

    Ya, curious, isn't it? (none / 0) (#24)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 04:18:03 PM EST
    doubt it's pro bono (none / 0) (#25)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 04:55:40 PM EST
    more likely a contingency, a percentage of whatever they recover for her.

    Ah, yes. (none / 0) (#26)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 05:05:33 PM EST
    I thought he was the lawyer that was going to try to help her with her immigration problems, are you saying he's the lawyer that's going to sue Whitman on Nicky's behalf?

    Speculation, but possibly Gloria sues, (none / 0) (#30)
    by Peter G on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 08:44:43 PM EST
    hoping for a nice contingent fee.  In doing so, she necessarily exposes her client to increased risk of immigration consequences.  Hence, she has to hire the immigration lawyer to protect the client during the civil case.  I see it as an expense of the civil litigation, like hiring an expert witness.  In major contingent-fee civil cases, the attorney often pays the expenses along the way, hoping to recover them out of the damages, if they win.  In that situation, theoretically the client owes the lawyer to reimburse the expenses (but not any fee) if they lose, but in practice, the lawyer just writes the expenses off.  Or the lawyers could be volunteering ("pro bono," so to speak) just for the fun of embarrassing Whitman, with a political motive.  That seems unlikely to me, however, since it exposes the client to risk with no corresponding benefit and would thus be unethical.  So, I revert to the theory of an intent to file a civil lawsuit with the genuine expectation of a settlement or verdict.

    Read this just now in the LA Times: (none / 0) (#16)
    by Angel on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 02:28:13 PM EST
    It's a statement put out by the Whitman campaign.

    "In November 2000, Nicandra Diaz-Santillan was hired by Meg Whitman. At the time she was hired, she filled out a standard IRS form W-4 and U.S. Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service form I-9.

    Ms. Diaz provided a copy of her Social Security Card and her California Driver's License.

    Ms. Diaz signed the I-9 stating under penalty of perjury that she was a lawful Permanent Resident Alien.

    During her employment, Meg Whitman paid state and federal income tax and provided Ms. Diaz with a standard IRS form W-2.

    On or about June 20, 2009, Ms. Diaz came to Meg Whitman and Dr. Harsh and confessed that she was not a legal resident and that she had used her sister's documents to gain employment. Diaz was immediately suspended.

    On or about Monday, June 29, 2009, Meg Whitman informed Ms. Diaz that her employment was terminated.

    There has been no further contact between Ms. Diaz and Meg Whitman since her termination."

    Note how EBay Meg abjectly fails (none / 0) (#18)
    by scribe on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 02:36:11 PM EST
    to address the SSN mismatch letters she was required to respond to and, allegedly, didn't.

    She would, I'm sure, have us believe that the IRS and INS/ICE (and their computers) were so inefficient that over the course of nine years they never noticed the employee's SSN did not match the employee's identity and that the government did nothing about it.

    And, of course, the whole tone of her response - blame the employee who signed "under penalty of perjury" - is directly contradictory to her statment last night in the debate (to the effect) that "we have to hold responsible the employers of illegal aliens".

    F'g hypocrite.


    Note how EBay Meg abjectly fails (none / 0) (#19)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 02:44:04 PM EST
    Note how EBay Meg abjectly fails to address the SSN mismatch letters she was required to respond to and, allegedly, didn't.
    Meg's statement was released before Allred's presser. Meg is not clairvoyant, she can't know what Allred is going to say in advance of her saying it.

    According to the time stamps on the LA Times (none / 0) (#27)
    by Angel on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 05:06:36 PM EST
    article, the posting for the press conference with Allred/housekeeper was at 11:44 am; the Whitman campaign posting was at 11:55 am.  It appears that the campaign was replying to statements made in the press conference, but who really knows?

    No. You are wrong. (none / 0) (#28)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 06:19:25 PM EST
    Whitman's press release was in advance of the Allred press conference.

    The LATimes published it before the Allred press congference.

    From the LATimes:

    In advance of former housekeeper's news conference, Whitman team alleges a 'falsified' employment record

    September 29, 2010 | 11:04 am

    The political and legal teams for Republican Meg Whitman say they think they have identified the former employee who will appear with Gloria Allred at a news conference Wednesday morning to discuss her employment with the Whitman family.

    "Based on the limited information that we have, we believe we know who this former employee is," said Whitman spokesman Rob Stutzman, who declined to release a name before the press conference.

    Whitman attorney Tom Hiltachk told reporters Wednesday: "This person was initially hired by Meg Whitman in November 2000. She filled out standard [Internal Revenue Service] forms and Department of Justice forms and presented her Social Security card and California driver's license. She filled out immigration forms that stated under penalty of perjury that she was a lawful resident."

    Hiltachk said this woman "worked for the Whitmans for about nine years."

    "On June 20, 2009, this person came to Ms. Whitman and confessed that she was not a legal resident of the U.S. She was immediately suspended and terminated on June 29, 2009," Hiltachk said.

    Stutzman said the timing of the press conference was suspicious, and Allred's presence made it even more so. Allred has "been a Jerry brown donor since 1982," Stutzman said.

    He said this employee "falsified her employment records" and is being "manipulated by Ms. Allred."

    Stay tuned to PolitiCal for details.

    --Anthony York in Sacramento

    Reporting what I saw online. Don't get your (none / 0) (#32)
    by Angel on Wed Sep 29, 2010 at 10:04:02 PM EST
    knickers in a wad.  Good grief.