DeMaio denies allegations; accuser passes lie detector test, CNN reports
East County News Service
October 11, 2014 (San Diego) – In a city still reeling from the sexual harassment scandal that led to the resignation of Mayor Bob Filner, sexual harassment allegations have now surfaced in a high-profile Congressional campaign.
Todd Bosnich, a former staffer of Republican Congressional candidate Carl DeMaio, claims that DeMaio called him into his office and masturbated in front of him. Bosnich claims he was also harassed by DeMaio, who is gay, on other occasions, including a crotch-grabbing incident, Voice of San Diego reports. DeMaio is running in the 52nd Congressional district against incumbent Democratic Congressman Scott Peters.
DeMaio has denied the allegations and claims Bosnich made them up after being fired for plagiarism and is accused of breaking into DeMaio’s office. But Bosnich says he was fired only after complaining to DeMaio’s chief of staff about the harassment. He says he was offered $50,000 to keep quiet, but refused to take the money. According to a CNN report, Bosnich has passed a lie detector test and provided results to the national media outlet. DeMaio claimed to have taken a lie detector test but did not provide proof.
This isn’t the first time DeMaio has been accused of inappropriate sexual conduct.
Last year, State Senator Ben Hueso told media that when he was on the City Council, he saw DeMaio masturbating in a public restroom at City Hall. Councilwoman Marti Emerald reportedly confirmed that Hueso told her about it at the time and she suggested he report it to police, but Hueso did not.
There are clear parallels to the Filner case, though unlike Filner, DeMaio has flat-out denied the allegations. But both officials have reputations for treating employees poorly and even bullying them. Voice of San Diego reports that DeMaio alienated close former campaign staffers and his former chief of staff at the City Council.
The UT San Diego has reported that DeMaio claims San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman told him in August that the Bosnich claim was deemed unfounded and the investigation closed. However San Diego Police Department spokesman Lt. Kevin Mayer said on Thursday that the department will not discuss the investigation details and that no further information is being released at this time.
No criminal charges have been filed. Should that change, the case could prove problematic for District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, who ran against DeMaio in the mayoral primary race but latter endorsed him after her loss. DeMaio in turn lost his run-off race for mayor to Filner. Dumanis recused herself from involvement in sexual harassment charges against Filner, but has not said whether she would do the same should charges result from the DeMaio scandal.