Meg Whitman Doesn’t Do All That Well at Her Press Conference About Housekeeper Nicky Diaz Santillan

Here’s Meg Whitman’s presser about her housekeeper problem – it was just broadcast live at TMZ.com. [UPDATE: Here's coverage from CBS San Francisco, just posted.] 

(Frankly, I don’t see how Meg can win her race after seeing this. Say hello to Governor Jerry Brown, the Once and Future King. Et iterum venturus est cum gloria. You know, Meg would have been better off saying that she would donate $150,000,000 to the state treasury early nect year rather than just spending all that dough on consultants and ad buys. IMO)

Anyway, Meg showed up about 15 minutes late and began by saying how former housekeeper Nicky Diaz Santillan was an “extended member of our family.” Then she asked about Jerry Brown:

 ”What does he think I should have done instead?”

Then it was off to questions and answers, below.

1. Nicky came to work for us for 15 hours per week. Sometimes she worked ten, sometimes eight. Nicky never asked for mileage reimbursement for running errands around Menlo Park.

2. We didn’t receive a letter from the Social Securtiy Administration. We never saw any such letter.

3. We didn’t want to turn Nicky in to law enforcement due to our ten-year relationship with her.

4. I comported with the law. The law doesn’t require employers to turn employees in. I fired her as soon as I found out she was illegal. Every employer needs to make his or her own decision about how to handle such a situation.

5. It’s very possible that Nicky intercepted any possible letter that came from the Social Securtiy Administration. The Nicky I knew was not the Nicky I saw at Gloria Allred’s presser.

6. These days we have one housekeeper, plus a landscaping and pool service.

7. We play by the rules. We were explicit with the people at the employment. We told the agency that we wanted legal employees only.

8. I never asked Nicky directly about her immigration status. We got a copy of the I-9 from and Social Security card from the agency.

9. Nicky signed her I-9 form under penalty of perjury. Nicky lied.

10. I have not contaced the SSA to ask for any letter that they might have sent out.

11. Nicky was my employee directly. We left a check for her on the counter every Friday.

12. I haven’t talked with Nicky since she left the house on the Saturday afternoon when she confessed to us.

13. I was heartbroken. I had to tell Nicky that we couldn’t continue to employ her.

14. This is classic smear politics. This is how career politicians like Jerry Brown operate. This is Brown-motivated.

15. Until we can be assured that we can get our arms around securing our borders, I don’t think we should alter our immigration laws. A first step would be a temporary guest worker program.

16. I didn’t want to discuss Nicky in the press. I didn’t want to make an example of her. I feel badly for Nicky for her involvement with Gloria Allred.

17. If I was going to let Nicky go for political expediency, I would have done it in February 2009 when I announced my run for Governor, not in June 2009.

18. It’s absolutely false when people say I knew about Nicky’s illegal status before he confession. I didn’t.

19. Town and Country Resources of Menlo Park was the employment agency involved.

20. We don’t owe Nicky any money. We paid her less when she worked less than 15 hours a week. We even paid her during Christmas vacation.

21. My lawyer said that there was nothing that we could do for her after we found out about her status.

22. I didn’t talk about Nicky because I didn’t want to make an example of here. I don’t know who is paying Gloria Allred.

23. This issue has nothing to do with my character.  

24. I want this state to get back on track. There are 2.3 million Californians without jobs. This is a distraction from what Californians ought to be talking about.

25. I feel badly about the situation. But the law is the law. I don’t know what ICE will do.

26. It’s absolutely false the statement Nicky made about me saying to her, “I don’t know you and you don’t know me.”

27. I would absolutely take a polygraph test about whether I knew about her immigration status. I was stunned when Nicky told us.

28. If it comes to that I will absolutely take a polygraph test.

29. We were misled. Our country needs an E-Verify system in place.

30. We were given copies of a CA-issued driver license, an SSN card and an I-9. We relied on all these documents.

31. My campaign is doing very well with Latinos. I will work very hard to earn the vote of Latinos.

32. This is totally predictable. Nicky is being used. This incident could backfire on the Jerry Brown campaign.

33. I had a very cordial relationship with Nicky.

34. It’s not right what Nicky did.  

35. It’s very hard to know if Nicky should be deported. Nicky can’t see what is about to happen here. She is being manipulated.

36. She did normal kind of housekeeping duties. She drove one of the boys to school sometimes. She was not responsible for the children.

37. I don’t know if Nicky had a legitimate driver license. I’ve heard that it was a real driver license.

38. We comported with the law. I’m new to politics. I’m just getting used to smear politics.

39. Nicky would get the mail from the mailbox and then put it on the kitchen island.

40. I didn’t know that Nicky was illegal until June 2009.

41. I think I behaved correctly under the circumstances. I wouldn’t behave differently if I had to do it all over again.

42. We only have one employee now. We hired her through the same agency. She is legal. My mailbox is locked know. I get my own mail now.

43. It’s important to get back to the issues Californians care about. The budget is 100 days overdue. We are about to go to IOUs to pay vendors to the state of California. I need to turn my attention back to my campaign.

 44. I believe that this is linked to the Brown campaign, 100%

45. I can’t criticise the agency. They had the proper documents.

46. We had a very good relationship with Nicky. Her boys played soccer in our backyard and played with our mini-schnauzer.

47. I don’t think we abused or took advantage of Nicky. We paid her $23 an hour. If she had a parent-teacher conference or some kind of appointment, we let her go early.

I have to run. Thank you for coming. Let’s move on to solve the problems facing California.

And that’s it. This presser ended at 11:32 AM.

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One Response to “Meg Whitman Doesn’t Do All That Well at Her Press Conference About Housekeeper Nicky Diaz Santillan”

  1. Adam says:

    The I9 form Meg references was incomplete. The EMPLOYER is supposed to fill out “Section 2″ AND sign it and date it. This is important, because that’s the part of the form where the employer reviews the submitted documents (license, social security card) and verifies that the employee is eligible to work in the US. The agency blew it by not filling out the form, and Meg’s people blew it by not reviewing the forms before they sent them to the media.