DMV May Investigate Whitman Nanny

OCT. 5, 2010


Gloria Allred may have opened a can of worms when she introduced Nicky Diaz Santillian, gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman’s housekeeper, who is apparently an illegal immigrant. Allred is already being accused of using a client for personal publicity purposes, instead of legally protecting the illegal housekeeper, as required by law. And now, law enforcement agencies are focusing on Santillian and her fraudulent documentation and identification.

One agency is the California Department of Motor Vehicles, which always investigates when someone is caught with a bogus California driver’s license. DMV insiders are asking if the DMV will do the same with Santillan?

Sources inside the DMV confirmed that it is standard operating procedure to investigate every falsified drivers license case for two reasons:

  1. It is illegal to acquire and use a fraudulent driver’s license, and
  2. A fraudulent driver’s license was acquired in an illegal way, and could have been facilitated by someone inside of the DMV.

One DMV insider said that the agency has successfully prosecuted both false driver’s license recipients and DMV employees, eventually landing the employees in jail.

Santillian is the illegal immigrant housekeeper/nanny, trotted out as an “October surprise” by fame-seeking lawyer Allred, in what is being described as a move to throw the gubernatorial election in the favor of Jerry Brown.

But no one is talking about how Santillian acquired her documents – a California driver’s license, and a Social Security card – that the employment agency Whitman used, accepted from Santillian, before placing her in the Whitman home.

An attorney within the DMV questioned whether DMV investigators will pursue Santillian’s case given the political implications. Another DMV source said that all DMV documents can be traced through the transactions within the DMV computer system, to the employee(s) who handled them.

And in any other circumstance, the source said the DMV would investigate and prosecute.

Last January DMV employee Karcius Duvel Jamison was arrested on 64 felony charges including, felony bribery for for waiving driving tests, bribes in issuing false California driver’s licenses, and driver license fraud.

Last May, four DMV employees were arrested on multiple counts of fraudulently processing driver licenses, and a “title-washing” scheme that involved several vehicles. Taneika Mashay Lathan, Shavon Renae Shorter, and Kimberly Nicole Sadler, employees at the department’s Los Angeles/Hope Street office, and Angelina Nanette James, who worked out of DMV’s Fullerton field office were all arrested and are currently being prosecuted. The DMV Internal Affairs Investigators, worked with California Highway Patrol investigators, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, as well as a Homeland Security Division to make the arrests.

The documents released in the Santillian case include the Immigration department’s I-9 form, which Santillan presented along with her California driver’s license and Social Security number, to the employer for review. (The link to the documents worked Monday, and I saw her job applications, job and personal references, the California Driver’s License and Social Security card. Today the link is garbled).

On the I-9 form, (required by federal law for employment) Santillan entered her fraudulent Social Security number, and acknowledged by signing the form that “I am aware that federal law provides for imprisonment and/or fines for false statements or use of false documents in connection with the completion of this form.”

In addition, she attested, under penalty of perjury on the I-9 form, that she was “a Lawful Permanent Resident.” She also entered a false Alien Number as proof of lawful permanent residence in the United States. This indicates that she may also have had a fake “green card” which is a felony.

The Santillian case demonstrates that illegal immigrants have access to fraudulent documents, including bogus Social Security numbers, fake “green cards,” and fraudulent drivers licenses. It also confirms what law enforcement officials and the Center For Immigration Studies describe as a “don’t ask, don’t tell I-9 system,” which is one reason the DMV pursues fraudulent driver’s licenses so aggressively, according to DMV sources.

One DMV insider asked, “whether law enforcement authorities and immigration authorities will pursue Santillan for the felonies she has committed, or will they give her a total pass as they do with virtually all illegal aliens who commit job-related felonies?”

He also said that some law enforcement officials that he has spoken with are questioning the credibility of Santillan’s assertions that Whitman cheated and mistreated her, because she lied about her immigrant status to her employer for so many years.

The DMV has 42 investigation offices throughout the state inside of its fraud division, and investigate fraud within the department, as well as the recipients of fraudulently obtained drivers licenses.

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