Politics & Government

Whitman's ex-housekeeper says she's not a paid whistleblower

Nicky Diaz Santillan, the former housekeeper of Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, said Tuesday that no one has paid her to publicly reveal her undocumented status and firing by Whitman last year.

Gloria Allred, Diaz Santillan's Los Angeles celebrity attorney, said at a news conference that she and the Mexican housekeeper wanted to address Whitman's accusations that the housekeeper was being manipulated by Democratic rival Jerry Brown.

"I make my own decisions," Diaz Santillan said in a televised broadcast. "I'm not anyone's puppet."

"I knew the risks of speaking out," she said, referring to possible deportation.

With Allred's assistance, Diaz Santillan filed a wage claim against Whitman on Sept. 29 for approximately $6,210 in wages and unpaid mileage the housekeeper says Whitman owes her.

Diaz Santillan said she was not treated like a member of Whitman's extended family, as Whitman has claimed.

On Sept. 29, the housekeeper revealed that she worked for Whitman for nine years, and that Whitman fired her in June 2009 after she asked Whitman to help her try to obtain legal status.

Whitman said she thought the housekeeper, who obtained employment with falsified documents, was a legal resident.

Allred said Whitman knew her employee was likely undocumented because the Social Security Administration sent "no-match" letters to Whitman indicating discrepancies in the housekeeper's name and number.

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