Photo: Nicky Diaz Santillian with celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred
In a disclosure Wednesday, Whitman acknowledged that she employed an illegal immigrant as a housekeeper for nine years until she began her run for governor last year. A startling disclosure in light of the fact that, Whitman had said in her first debate the night before,” “We do have to hold employers accountable for hiring only documented workers, and we do have to enforce that law.”
Whitman said that she was unaware of Nicky Diaz Santillan’s legal status until she confessed last year. Whitman said she then did “one of the hardest things I’ve ever done” and fired the nanny and housekeeper.
Celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred said Diaz Santillan, 39, was paid $23 an hour and that her duties included housekeeping and driving to the store, school, and to houses of Whitman’s children’s friends, among other places. Allred suggested Whitman should have known Diaz Santillan was illegal.
Whitman, in the final weeks of a tough race against Democrat Jerry Brown, believes the disclosure to be politically motivated. Whitman has been aggressively courting the Latino vote since she won the June primary.
“This is a shameful example of the politics of personal destruction practiced by people like Jerry Brown and Gloria Allred, “Whitman said in a written statement.