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Meg lies about first, then admits she hired another illegal

Original post made by Willy, Woodside: other, on Oct 2, 2010

First, Meg flatly denies ever seeing the letter and declares she would "absolutely" take a polygraph to prove it. An hour later, uh-oh, there's the letter with her husband's notes scribbled on it, blown up to a 3 foot poster.

Then comes the backtracking.

Then further admissions start. Two days later, she starts paving the way for other shoes to drop, she hired MORE ILLEGALS:

"In her Thursday news conference, Whitman - while calling for employers to be "held accountable" for hiring undocumented immigrants - admitted she also hired a friend of Diaz's during the housekeeper's maternity leave. Asked if she checked the woman's immigration papers, Whitman said, "I don't remember whether we did or not."

Web Link

Rules don't apply to Meg: shoving employees and buying their silence through quarter million dollar settlements, SEC settlements when she was on the compensation committee at Goldman Saks, etc..

"I don't remember whether we did or not."

Held accountable? Your words, Meg.

And your plans to make California more "business friendly," to let big business skate on hiring illegals.

Comments (10)

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Posted by Bonnie Goldstein
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Hills
on Oct 4, 2010 at 1:18 pm

While candidates and appointees (and presumably average citizens) continued to get caught violating immigration and tax laws, most people with political aspirations towed the line. It was in this environment six years later that Nicandra Diaz Santillan, also in the United States without documentation, provided her prospective employers, GOP candidate for California Governor Meg Whitman (then CEO of eBay), and her neurosurgeon husband, Griffith Harsh, with a Social Security number not actually assigned to her. Miss Diaz, who had come into California from Mexico, assured the couple she was legally available to work. (They were introduced though an agency that had also asked for and received documents she would need to complete the I-9 form.)

The new employers withheld taxes from Diaz' salary ($17,940 in 2002) and provided an annual W2 form to their employee. When the name Nicandra Santillan and the number she provided did not agree with agency records, the Social Security Administration wrote Whitman and Harsh in 2003 asking for more information. The couple gave their housekeeper the letter and asked her to clarify and resolve the matter ("Nicky, please check this. Thanks').

Apparently, after that handoff, she kept the letter and it fell off their radar and was forgotten. The matter faded away until, as Whitman stated last month, "Nicky came to us in June 2009 and confessed that she was an illegal worker."

She asked her employers for "help" legalizing her status several months after Whitman began exploring her interest in the top state job. Meg Whitman and her husband by all indications behaved legally but were nevertheless misled. As most people would, they trusted the person who they paid to clean their toilet.

When the housekeeper confessed she'd been lying, Whitman "immediately terminated Nicky's employment." Saying "it was one of the hardest things I've ever done," Whitman added she "considered Nicky a friend and a part of our extended family."

For her part, Nicky claimed in a tearful press conference that Dr. Harsh was, er, harsh when she broke the news ("Dr. Harsh was very angry and said, 'I told you, I told you she was going to bring us problem") and now claims her former bosses still owe her overtime wages and mileage reimbursement.

In their 2nd public debate Saturday, Whitman accused her opponent for the governor's office, California attorney general Jerry Brown, of orchestrating the scandal. Momentum for the accusations and suspiciously timed revelations seem to be the spotlight-seeking work of Diaz' lawyer, Gloria Allred. (Allred is known for inserting herself into high-profile disputes.) Whatever her motivation for the explosive betrayal, Diaz' own actions now put her at risk for arrest and deportation.

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Posted by Willy
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 4, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Meg lied about the letter and fired Nicky after supposedly not having a clue for nine years.

I'm no Willie Brown fan, but he pegged it: Whitman didn't listen to her advisers and did not preempt the scandal a year ago, which would have been far to her benefit. To top it off by getting caught lying about the letter just showed incredibly poor judgment.

Maybe even Skype style poor judgment. Nah, Skype cost Ebay $2.6 billion. What a colossal failure. Possibly the WORST ACQUISITION EVER. What a decision. This gaffe, throwing Nicky and her husband under the bus, will only cost her $119 million.

Until she looks in the mirror and says: "dang girl, you look good, why don't I donate more so you can buy this election!"

Then it costs her more...

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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 4, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Willy -

Strangely, I agree with you that Ms. Whitman should have gotten "ahead" of this story by disclosing it much earlier. She might have even improved her standing by talking about her personal experience with illegal immigration and employment.

But what should she have done? From what I've heard from immigration attorneys - who appear to support illegal immigration (at least the proverbial pathway to citizenship) - legally, she did everything right. The attorneys have said you cannot turn in a suspect illegal immigrant to the authorities, you can only ask the employee to straighten it out.

I'm not sure what those who claim Ms. Whitman made a huge error are asking. If Ms. Whitman was so deliquent, would you now like employers to actively review the documentation of their existing "suspected" illegal immigrant employees and turn them over to authorities? Is that the answer? Be careful what you ask for...

Of course, if this is just bashing Ms. Whitman, that's another matter. Her hairdo is a far easier target.

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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 4, 2010 at 8:33 pm

"If Ms. Whitman was so deliquent, would you now like employers to actively review the documentation of their existing "suspected" illegal immigrant employees and turn them over to authorities? Is that the answer? "

Damn straight!

I've never knowingly hired an illegal and when the SSA sent me a letter like the Whitmans received it was "adios amigo." The only reason we have an illegal immigrant "problem" is because we hire them. If we didn't, there'd be no reason for them to be here. I absolutely REFUSE to hire illegal aliens. It interferes with my competetiveness in the construction market but, so be it. I WILL NOT encourage illegal immegration. In my opinion, it has done nothing but destroy the quality of the construction trades and make my life as a contractor MORE difficult. They can all go back from where they came.

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Posted by Outside Looking In
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 4, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Dear Menlo Voter:

Thanks for substantiating my factual statement to R. Gordon in another post that people have been in Meg Whitman's situation. You're another employer I have heard about who has been in this situation. It's terrible that you had to go through the trouble hiring this employee, only to learn that he/she wasn't legit.

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Posted by Kevin Donaldson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 5, 2010 at 6:40 am

Nicky Diaz Santillan admits to being in the United States illegally, admits to submitting falsified documents, and Meg Whitman is the one on the hot seat?

We're supposed to feel sorry for Diaz Santillan because she was fired after nine years as Whitman's housekeeper? Well, boo hoo. She was fired because she was breaking the law. Once Whitman discovered the truth that had been deliberately withheld from her, she took the proper action.

It escapes me how Willy could feel that it's about Meg Whitman lying when there has been no proof that she did! And why is Diaz Santillan's lying being ignored? And to top it all off, Gloria Allred saw yet another opportunity to get her name and face in the news and jumped at it, and she is taking Diaz Santillan along for the ride. [Portion deleted.]

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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 5, 2010 at 7:29 am


the problem is that the Whitmans were informed SIX years before they fired her that there was a problem with their employee's SSN. As an employer they had a duty to get it straightened out. They didn't and it wasn't until their employee came to them and basically rubbed their noses in her illegal status that they did anything about it.

Whitman has totally bungled how she's dealt with this issue. Rather than getting out in front of it and using it as a campaign tool she tried to hide from it. If this is an example of how a non-politician handles things, I think I know how I'll be voting in November.

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Posted by freddy
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 5, 2010 at 8:54 am

Meg bought Skype for two billion dollars?

What a fool!

More foolish than claiming you didn't know that someone who is your house for 9 years is illegal.

Billions more foolish.

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Posted by beenthere2
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 5, 2010 at 11:39 am

15 years ago, I hired a woman to help me (we worked together) clean our home 1 day every few weeks. She provided me with her SSN number, but since she worked relatively few hours, our accountant told us to treat her as an Independent Contractor. I provided her with a record of hours and wages and she assured me she was withholding and paying taxes. We became very good friends and even helped her out with some expenses of raising her family.

Then, she came to us to say that she had lied to us all those years ago and that her Social Security card was a counterfeit. Under the circumstances of her illegal entry, I felt nothing but compassion for her situation. Even called a friend who heads a big law firm and asked for an immigration lawyer to consult with her. His advice to her was to either turn herself in immediately or leave the country.
We had to let her go. There were lots of tears, but in our mind, the law is the law and we abide by it until it is changed.

When we saw Meg's housekeeper with Gloria Allred, there was no doubt at all that it was a politically inspired and staged production. This woman has lied about everything - to the employment agency and to her employers. Unlike our housekeeper, this woman shows no signs of repentance and makes no admissions of guilt. I have to wonder what she's getting in return for her carefully timed testimony. Meg and her husband are clearly being victimized by her political opponent.

How many residents of the Peninsula have gardeners who hire illegals? Do we ask them to provide documentation of every person who clips a hedge or mows a lawn?

It is virtually impossible—especially in our area—to know who you are hiring here when anyone can come in over the border and buy a Social Security number for $25 in Redwood City or down on Storey Road. And how about the CA Driver License belonging to Meg's housekeeper that the head of the DMV pronounced authentic??? Wow!

Our country does have real problems in terms of the ease with which people come and go and embed themselves in the community without proper legal documentation. That is the real issue - not Meg and her husband's reliance on an employment agencies failure to vet the people they send out to jobs. A well-defined immigration law that is upheld by the federal and state governments will help to solve the problems, but change will not come quickly. It's a VERY difficult and complex issue, requiring honesty, compassion, commitment and the diligent pursuit of a solution.

And until this has been solved, not many of us are eligible to run for public office!

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Posted by Willy
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 5, 2010 at 11:43 am

Kevin: "It escapes me how Willy could feel that it's about Meg Whitman lying when there has been no proof..."

Meg stood up last week and said there was no letter, implying that maybe the woman she loved like family was a mail thief. Two hours later Allred shows the letter with notes on it. Ouch.

She got caught lying. Blame it on Allred if you want to and let Meg escape her responsibility to tell voters the truth.

Word has since come out that her campaign (and therefore a lot of folks) knew about this from the beginning, in their vetting and discovery process. It was a spectacularly dumb decision to think that this would stay swept under the rug.

It's not the mistake or the lawbreaking that gets politicos in trouble, it's always the coverup and the lies afterward.

Just another Arnold. With shades of Tricky Dick, another California great who felt above the law.

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