SAN DIEGO – A spokesman for San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts defended the alleged actions against the politician, including having an improper relationship with his driver and misused public funds.
Gary Gartner, a longtime political adviser and public affairs rep, addressed the allegations.
“Statements have been made about Supervisor Dave Roberts and members of his staff by Diane Porter. They are false, defamatory and will be refuted by the statement of witness statements and documents some of which I’ll be providing to you today,” Gartner said.
Roberts has come under fire since four staff members - all women - resigned in a three-week span.
Ex-scheduler Diane Porter accused Roberts of having an inappropriate relationship with another staffer named Harold Meza, including taking him on county trips and sharing beds with him.
“Diane Porter knows that Harold Meza did not go on that trip because she learned of that during that text message exchange," Gartner said. "So for her to go put in her claim that inappropriate activities and behavior was going on and that he went on that trip is an example of the complete and outright lies that are contained in her claim.”
Christopher Morris recently filed a lawsuit against San Diego County on behalf of Porter, his client.
"There’s text between Dave and Diane where he's laughing, smiling and joking about the fact that he’s in a hotel room with Harold,” said Morris.
The claim contends the supervisor made Porter work on political activities during work hours and spend office money on campaign materials such as these baseball cards.
When Porter reported it to human resources, she and other staffers say Roberts created a hostile work environment.
“Somebody says there was a hostile work environment and didn’t get along with her boss… the text messages don’t show that," said Gartner.
Eight people have resigned from Roberts’ office since he took office in January 2013. While former staffers have raised several allegations against Roberts, the focus of the San Diego District Attorney's Office criminal investigation is unclear.
“I have reams and reams of emails, texts, expense accounts and pictures. What I’ve submitted so far is just the tip of the iceberg," Morris said.
Last week, Roberts’ Board Supervisors said he should bear any liability stemming from the upheaval in his office, not taxpayers.