DeMaio disputes allegations of inappropriate behavior

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SAN DIEGO – Carl DeMaio, former San Diego City Councilman and candidate for Congress, is firing back at state Sen. Ben Hueso over allegations of inappropriate behavior.

During a news conference Wednesday, DeMaio said this isn’t the first dirty attack that’s been leveled against him by his opponents. He said he doesn’t typically address such attacks.

“For the most part, I’ve always let this just roll off my back, but this time it’s different,” said DeMaio. “This lie crossed the line. It’s so gross, it’s so untrue, it’s so humiliating that it demands a response.”

Hueso told the Voice of OC, that in 2009 he witnessed then-Councilman DeMaio masturbating in a public City Hall bathroom, while a council meeting was underway. The article said when Hueso left the restroom he encountered Councilwoman Marti Emerald and told her what happened.

Emerald released a statement Wednesday saying, “The article accurately reflected Hueso’s comments. Furthermore, the City just suffered through one sex scandal and doesn’t need another. DeMaio is already raising red flags.”

The article also said other council members knew of or had witnessed the behavior. It specifically mentioned Tony Young and Todd Gloria. DeMaio said that is also untrue and that both men are willing to back him up.

“This is not my word against Mr. Hueso,” said DeMaio. “This is Tony Young and Todd Gloria coming and stepping forward and absolutely refuting what Mr. Hueso claims they said.”

Todd Gloria was not available for an on-camera interview, but did release this statement: “I have never witnessed anything close to what is being alleged about Mr. DeMaio.”

Hueso is still standing by his claims and Wednesday released this statement: “I was asked by the reporter if I witnessed an incident involving Council Member Carl DeMaio and I answered truthfully. I would never maliciously disparage a person’s character or impede their future with false or misleading information. This was difficult to share and I have nothing further to add.”

“He has brought great shame on himself, his office and San Diego all in an attempt to play dirty politics,” said DeMaio.

DeMaio claims he has taken a polygraph test to prove the allegations are untrue. DeMaio’s spokesperson, Dave McCulloch, said DeMaio consulted with local law enforcement officials, and upon their recommendation, he retained Paul Redden to perform the test on Aug. 26. McCullocj said Redden performs the test regularly for local law enforcement agencies. DeMaio said he passed the polygraph test.

Fox 5 contacted McCulloch Wednesday to ask if copies of the polygraph would be provided. Our request has not been answered.

DeMaio originally called Wednesday’s news conference to release his new “Integrity First Plan.” He is proposing several reforms he said will enhance ethics and transparency at City Hall.

The reforms include a ban on free gifts and travel for city officials, changing the recall process for elected officials and more transparency of public records. He also is proposing that elected officials must complete any required ethics training prior to taking their oath of office. Lastly he is calling for an Inspector General position to be placed in the City Attorney’s Office. The position would receive and investigate any allegations regarding development projects and to prevent inappropriate pressure on project applicants.

DeMaio said he hopes to make a decision about whether he will run for mayor this weekend.

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