A third staffer who worked for embattled San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts filed a claim Monday with the county, alleging Roberts misused his public office for political purposes and offered her a higher paying job to lie about it to Human Resources.
According to the claim, Roberts' former Deputy Chief of Staff Lindsey Masukawa and other employees in the office were asked by Roberts to “engage in campaign-related activities.”
The claim describes how Masukawa was asked to help build his campaign finance committee. According to the document, “Supervisor Roberts asked Ms. Masukawa to reach out to leaders in the community and ask them to serve on his financial committee. Supervisor Roberts also asked Ms. Masukawa to attend his first Finance Committee meeting, and added the event to her work calendar.”
In a statement emailed to NBC 7 Investigates, Roberts called Masukawa's accusations "completely false."
In the claim, Masukawa also describes how she believed the county supervisor attempted to bribe her with a higher position if she lied to HR.
“Ms. Masukawa was in total shock by what she understood to be an attempted bribe from Supervisor Roberts that she would get a promotion and substantial raise if she lied to HR, and told them that Porter and Vaughan were lying about Supervisor Roberts’ improper use of County funds and staff for campaign purposes," the document says.
Attorneys for Masukawa said they do not plan on doing interviews about the claim or the turmoil in Roberts' office and neither will Masukawa.
According to the claim, other examples of employees working on county time for campaign related activities include:
- Roberts directed staff to assist in his fundraising and endorsement efforts.
- Roberts used county resources to build his campaign finance committee.
- Roberts used a county car and driver for campaign and personal purposes.
Masukawa did not respond to multiple requests for comment during NBC7 Investigates' months-long examination of staff turnover in Roberts' office. She began working in the District 3 Office in January 2013, hired as a health and human services policy advisor.
Masukawa resigned in April. According to Roberts, she told the office she was leaving for personal health reasons.
"Up until the last week of work, Ms. Masukawa sent out emails to coworkers, department heads, and to myself, touting nothing but a positive work environment," said Roberts in an email. "Her final personal written statement to her colleagues sent three days before leaving the County said: 'This is the greatest job in the world. I came into the office everyday with a smile on my face, and eagerness to assist the constituents of San Diego County, and took pleasure with improving District 3.'”
According to the claim, if the issues are not resolved with the county, Masukawa’s attorneys are “confident” they can receive money for her at trial, “including lost past and future wages, compensation for the non-economic damages she has suffered, as well as attorneys’ fees and costs.” A dollar amount was not listed.
According to an attorney who spoke with NBC 7 Investigates, if the amount sought is more than $10,000, Masukawa legally does not have to put a figure to it.