Rather than come clean with the public about her mistreatment of her former housekeeper, Meg Whitman lied to cover it up. When attorney Gloria Allred caught her in a lie, Whitman still refused to apologize. Whitman even stooped so low as to wrongly accuse the housekeeper, Nicky Diaz Santillan, who she employed for nine years and said was a “member of her extended family,” of stealing her mail.
At a time when voters are desperate for their leaders to be accountable for their actions, Whitman has failed miserably to live up to the standards by which we should hold anyone running for elected office. She’s blamed Nicky, Jerry Brown, his allies and others, but has never once admitted any wrongdoing or taken any responsibility for her own actions.
Today in front of Whitman’s East LA office, a group of domestic workers joined SEIU United Service Workers West (USWW) President Mike Garcia, Assemblymember Hector de la Torre and State Senator Gil Cedillo to call on Whitman to open tomorrow night’s debate with an apology to Nicky and the people of California for the mistreatment and hurtful allegations she directed at Nicky, and the lies she told in an attempt to cover up the scandal.
The domestic workers, on behalf of millions of Californians who live in the shadows because of exploitation and mistreatment from the Meg Whitmans of the world, demanded that Whitman own up to her mistakes immediately.
Julia Moreno, who worked as a live-in maid for 25 years:
Everyone who works hard in California deserves to be treated with dignity, but Meg Whitman thinks she can use people when it’s convenient and then turn her back on us when we need help.
The domestic workers also unveiled a new petition demanding that Whitman apologize, and allowing Californians to stand in solidarity with Nicky and all exploited workers. The petition, which can be found at www.ApologizeMeg.org, will remain live until Whitman finally does the right thing and apologizes to Californians for her actions.
SEIU USWW President Garcia:
Whitman has blamed everyone else for her own mistakes, going so far as to accuse her housekeeper of being a felon who would steal the family’s mail, and Meg Whitman needs to apologize for this accusation. We’re demanding that in the last debate before Election Day Meg Whitman apologize to Nicky, the Latino community, and all voters in California.
Latino leaders Cedillo and De la Torre said that elected officials bear a special responsibility to the public, and Whitman’s actions – and the subsequent lies she told to cover them up – raise serious questions about her fitness for any public office, much less Governor.
The mistreatment and accusations Nicky suffered at the hands of billionaire Whitman are unfortunately all-too-common obstacles immigrant workers face. Lelis Juarez, who spoke at today’s press conference, is a housekeeper who is owed over $3,000 in back wages by her former employer.
We are here today on behalf of Nicky and all the people who live in the shadows so that their families can have a better life. The fact that Meg Whitman, a billionaire, was willing to cheat Nicky out of her hard-earned money shows she has no idea what it’s like for people like us who earn just enough to scrape by. If Meg Whitman can’t even treat those who work in her home with respect, dignity and compassion, how do you think she’s going to treat California workers if she becomes Governor?
It’s been nearly two weeks since Nicky came forward to bravely tell her story. It’s past time for Meg Whitman to issue a public apology for the hurt she’s caused Nicky and so many others. Join the call for Whitman to apologize at www.ApologizeMeg.org.