The turmoil in San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts office spilled out onto the streets Thursday, outside the downtown courthouse.
Harold Meza, a community representative in Roberts' office, has filed a lawsuit against two former District 3 employees: Roberts' former chief-of-staff Glynnis Vaughan and his former scheduler Diane Porter
“I have never engaged in any inappropriate conduct sexually or otherwise with San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts, “ Meza said. “Any suggestion I did is a lie.
“I was not favored by him. Any suggestion I did, that is a lie.”
The complaint describes how both Porter and Vaughan allegedly created a hostile work environment for Meza. The women have filed claims against the supervisor, identifying Meza in one suit as a “great source of consternation and turmoil amongst the staff.”
Speaking for the first time publically about the claims filed by his former co-workers, Meza said, “They smeared my reputation.” He went on to describe how he came from a politically active family and wants to run for office someday.
During the news conference, Meza’s attorney Dan Gilleon announced details of the lawsuit he was filing on Meza’s behalf.
Click here to read the full lawsuit.
Gilleon described the women as joining forces to spread “vicious ugly rumors about Harold and Supervisor Roberts.” He said they violated his client's civil rights, specifically pinpointing a day in March when the problems began in the supervisor’s office.
On this day, according to the lawsuit, Porter described to Meza “intimate martial problems she was experiencing” using “offense and sexually charged language.” Gilleon said Meza was offended and didn’t want to have anything more to do with Porter.
According to Gilleon, Meza said, he believes Porter and Vaughan teamed up and the two women picked on Roberts because he was a gay man. Gilleon also said Porter spread rumors about their relationship even though she knew Meza was heterosexual.
Meza said, “Roberts is gay, I am straight.” He added that the harassment from Vaughan and Porter was “malicious, hostile and unwarranted.”
“Supervisor Roberts has always conducted himself with me and others in my presence in a courteous and respectful manner,” Meza said. “To imply that anything inappropriate occurred is insulting and vicious.”
None of the former Roberts' employees who spoke to NBC 7 said Meza and Roberts had a sexual relationship.
Gilleon said he was not including any of the texts that flew back and forth across the office in the lawsuit. Instead, he said, he was focusing on the sexually charged comments Meza says Porter made and the hostile work environment his client had to work in.
When asked why Meza never complained to higher ups, Gilleon said it was not realistic to report them to the County Human Relations Department.
Immediately after Meza and Gilleon spoke, Porter’s attorney Chris Morris addressed the crowd. He said Gilleon and Meza were attempting to silence the women’s criticism of the supervisor through the lawsuit.
They are “beating them down to silence,” Morris said.
A total of three claims have been filed against San Diego County and Supervisor Roberts. The claims allege the supervisor misused county funds, practiced favoritism and in one case, attempted to bribe one of the former employees with a higher position if she lied to county HR.
Lindsey Masukawa filed the third claim against Roberts and the county June 8. She was not named by Meza in the lawsuit.