Whitman will have to wait for hearing

Jessica M. Karmasek Oct. 21, 2010, 11:11am


SACRAMENTO (Legal Newsline) - A hearing that was scheduled for the undocumented ex-housekeeper of California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman has been delayed until after next month's election.

Nicky Diaz Santillan's Oct. 20 hearing has been rescheduled for Nov. 17, according to state officials, the San Francisco Chronicle's Politics Blog reported Tuesday.

Diaz Santillan filed a claim with the state Department of Industrial Relations on Sept. 29 that alleges she is owed $6,210 for hours of work and mileage costs that the former eBay CEO did not pay her, the newspaper reported.

A spokeswoman for the agency told the Chronicle this week that the hearing for Diaz Santillan's claim will be continued "because the claimant needs to provide more information" for the case to be fully evaluated.

The billionaire Whitman has denied allegations she had received a letter from the U.S. Social Security Administration in 2003, questioning her former housekeeper's citizenship.

The Republican came under fire last month after Diaz Santillan made allegations that Whitman knew she was an illegal immigrant while she was employed.

Diaz Santillan worked for Whitman and her husband for nine years before being fired in 2009 when she allegedly approached Whitman about her immigration status and asked for help in becoming a U.S. citizen.

"We were stunned when Nicky told us she was illegal," Whitman said at a news conference last month.

"My husband and I did everything we could to hire someone who was documented to work here. When I found out this woman was not here legally, we let her go. It's a tough thing to do when you have a personal relationship, but it's the right thing to do."

The ex-housekeeper is now being represented by Gloria Allred, a well-known California discrimination attorney.

Whitman is currently campaigning -- and has spent $140 million of her own money -- to be California's next governor. She's in a neck-and-neck race with Democrat Jerry Brown, the state's current Attorney General and former governor. The election is less than two weeks away.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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