East County News Service
Photo courtesy 10 News, an ECM news partner
May 27, 2015 (San Diego) – Supervisor Dave Robert, in an exclusive interview with 10 News, has issued strong denials to all allegations made by two ex-staffers now suing the county.
I did nothing wrong. These claims are false, and if this does end up in litigation the truth will come out,” Roberts says. He suggests a financial motive behind the women filing suit. “If you go to the bottom line, you can see a dollar amount,” the Supervisor states. “Most people realize what this is all about.”
Office Manager Diane Porter and chief of staff Glynnis Vaughan are asking nearly $750,000, accusing Roberts of creating a hostile work environment. Roberts has also been accused of having a sexual relationship with a male staffer, Harold Meza, who was Roberts’ driver. But now both Meza and Roberts have come forward to deny any such liaison.
Roberts called that accusation a “categorical lie” and further called the accusations “slanderous.” He said they have been hurtful to his family (Roberts is gay, married to his partner and has several children.
Meza, in a sworn affidavit provided to 10 News, confirmed Roberts’ statement. “I never engaged in any inappropriate conduct, sexual or otherwise, with County Supervisor Dave Roberts. Ay suggestion that I did is a lie…Let me be perfectly clear about this, I am a heterosexual male”
In a sworn affidavit obtained by 10News, Meza stated: "I never engaged in any inappropriate conduct, sexual or otherwise, with County Supervisor Dave Roberts. Any suggestion that I did is a lie … Let me be perfectly clear about this, I am a heterosexual male." Although the two shared a room on a county-funded business trip, Meza says they had separate beds and adds that it’s customary for the county to book two people per room to save funds.
Although Porter has claimed her boss was too demanding and that “nothing you did was good enough”, Roberts gave text messages to 10 News that he points out include texts in which “Mrs. Porter was telling me…what a wonderful boss I am.”
Roberts also defended an expense of less than $1000 for baseball cards with his photo on them, which he likened to a business card to promote the county’s Live Well project. He says other elected officials have printed similar cards and that he had approval from County Counsel for the design.
Roberts, the newest elected member of the San Diego Board of Supervisors, is also the only Democrat on the board.
The case has some parallels to that of disgraced former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, who resigned and later pled guilty to sexual misconduct charges and was also accused of being hard to work for by staffers. But there are major differences. Filner admitted to at least some of the charges and the city paid out significant sums to settle litigation.
Roberts has flat-out denied all allegations, backed up by Meza’s affidavit. Moreover, he told 10 News, the other Supervisors have indicated they have no intention of paying money to staffers making allegations that Roberts insists are false and defamatory.