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Whitman's ex-maid denies connection to Brown

October 5, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Meg Whitman's former housekeeper stepped in front of microphones Tuesday and angrily responded to charges she is being used as a political pawn.Whitman's former housekeeper, Nicky Diaz Santillan, and attorney Gloria Allred held their third news conference in seven days. They again accused Whitman of mistreating the housekeeper and of knowing she was here illegally.

Diaz says she was never treated as part of the Republican gubernatorial candidate's family.

Diaz and her Allred say they are not connected with the campaign of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown. Allred will only say Diaz was referred to her by another attorney she refused to name.

Diaz worked as a housekeeper for Whitman for nine years. Whitman says she fired Diaz last year after she found out she was undocumented.

"It's not fair that we work hard and then get thrown away like garbage," said Diaz Tuesday.

Whitman has said Diaz is being manipulated by Brown and it pained her to fire Diaz because she was part of the family.

Diaz read from a statement saying she was not manipulated.

"Meg Whitman, don't say I was part of your family because you never treated me like I was," said Diaz.

Allred would not let Diaz answer questions. But she says Diaz was never invited to family events or ever shared a meal with them.

"The truth is that she never really saw Nicky at all," said Allred. "Where was Ms. Whitman when Nicky gave birth to her child?"

Allred repeatedly refused to say who referred the housekeeper to her. She says it's her policy not to disclose names of referring lawyers.

After conferring with her client, Allred would not tell say whether she is being paid or not for representing Diaz.

"We would have to talk about it more before we made a decision as to whether we disclose on what basis I'm representing her in reference to whether or not I would be compensated," said Allred.

Whitman had no public appearances but one of her campaign spokespeople laid the whole issue back at Jerry Brown's feet.

"Jerry Brown should demand disclosure. We demand the people of California should know who's paying Gloria Allred. What is the transparency here? And ultimately, the people of California, we need to get back to the real issues facing Californians," said Hector Barajas, a Whitman campaign spokesman.

Brown and Whitman are in a very close race with only four weeks to go to the election. An exclusive Eyewitness News poll Monday showed Brown with a slim lead.


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