Dave Roberts: Allegations Against Me are Offensive

Thursday, May 28, 2015

San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts defended himself Thursday against allegations he misused his office.

Roberts has been in the spotlight in recent weeks since three former staffers said he mistreated employees, politicized his office and had an inappropriate relationship with his driver.

"I hold my staff and myself to the highest ethical standards," Roberts told KPBS Midday Edition. "My mistake was two bad job hires. For people to make these claims is wrong. I am so offended that people said I had a hostile work environment."

Roberts gave interviews Wednesday to 10News and The San Diego Union-Tribune. He spoke to KPBS on Thursday.

He is being investigated by the District Attorney's Office. It's unclear what sparked the investigation, but an adviser for Roberts said it will clear the Democrat of any wrongdoings.

The news of the investigation came after his former staffers' allegations were made public. Making the claims are his former chief of staff, Glynnis Vaughan, former scheduler, Diane Porter and former administrative assistant, Brittany Shaw. Porter and Vaughan filed formal claims with the county, which is required before filing a lawsuit.

The three former employees said Roberts misused his office by asking staff members to work on his campaign.

“Sometimes elected officials have staff who want to volunteer,” said Roberts, who said Vaughan asked for a campaign business card and he declined that request.

The former employees also said he had an inappropriate relationship with his driver, Harold Meza. Meza refuted the allegations last week in a written statement.

Roberts said he has staff members accompany him to events in response to an incident in 2013 in which he was almost stabbed.

“We wanted to make sure staff was with me when I’m out in public,” Roberts said. “My original chief of staff said, ‘Let’s find someone who wants to get involved in government service — let’s hire someone straight out of college.’”

That’s why Meza was hired after working as an intern for Roberts, he said.

Eight people have resigned from the District 3 office since Roberts took office in 2013.

“I’m the first new county supervisor in almost 20 years,” he said. “My colleagues have been there for a longtime and they had turnover in their initial years.”

Roberts, who is up for re-election next year, is a former Solana Beach city councilman. His county district includes coastal North County as well as parts of Escondido, Mira Mesa, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Peñasquitos, Scripps Ranch and Tierrasanta.

EDITOR'S NOTE: -- Let us not forget that supervisor Bill Horn is probably the most scandal laden person on the board. In 2004 Horn did not report money he had received from Joan Wonsley, his chief of staff, from a Carlsbad home he was leasing her. He also raised ethical questions when his campaign paid Wonsley's daughter more than $18,000 which he claimed was for fundraising. After this episode, six other violations of state campaign regulations were settled when Horn was assessed $12,000 in fines.

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