Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman told reporters this afternoon that she told her consultants about Nicky Diaz Santillan, an illegal immigrant and her former housekeeper, when she fired Diaz Santillan last year.
Asked if she did so because she anticipated it would be problematic for her campaign, she said, "I didn't think it would be a problem."
Still, the campaign was prepared on Tuesday, when the story broke, to immediately release documenation about it.
Whitman said she fired Diaz Santillan once she learned she was an illegal immigrant. She called the controversy a "sideshow."
For weeks, Republican Meg Whitman demanded that Jerry Brown, her Democratic rival for governor, debate her in Fresno, clearly hoping it would shore up support in the GOP-leaning San Joaquin Valley and among Latino voters, but Brown stalled.
Whitman finally got her wish Saturday in a bilingual debate sponsored by Univision, but it quickly became a slugfest as Brown pummeled her on how she handled a former housekeeper who was an illegal immigrant – a case that had erupted just days earlier.