Editor's note: On Nov. 23, 2015, Todd Bosnich was sentenced for obstructing justice after he admitted he created a phony email to make it appear DeMaio or his associates were threatening him. He also admitted to lying to the FBI about the email.
A familiar face in the San Diego political scene stepped into the fray of the 52nd District Race and raised new questions about recent sexual harassment claims levied against Republican candidate Carl DeMaio.
“What I believe is that there are other victims,” former City Councilmember Donna Frye said Wednesday. Fry was referring to former DeMaio staffer Todd Bosnich’s recent allegations that he was repeatedly sexually harassed by DeMaio while working on his Congressional campaign.
San Diego Police investigated the claims and forwarded the case to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office. No charges were filed in that case or in the counter claim made by DeMaio that Bosnich was responsible for vandalism at a campaign headquarters.
Bosnich continues to stand by his claims.
On Wednesday, Frye offered no specifics on why she thinks there are others only to say: “Based on others I’ve spoken with recently where there is smoke, there’s fire.”
Hours later, DeMaio did his best to focus on job creation, reform and bipartisanship in the remaining days leading up to the election,but instead he was questioned about Frye’s accusations that he would leave council meetings and take credit for the work of others.
“This display is nothing more than a desperate politician who is about to lose his job,” DeMaio said of incumbent, Democrat U.S. Rep. Scott Peters’s decision to host Frye at his campaign headquarters.
Frye stood in front of a Peters-for-Congress sign and relayed how a grocery-store meeting with a constituent led her to urge the public not to vote for DeMaio.
“This is a close race. I don’t want to be responsible for Mr. DeMaio getting any votes from using my names, not one,” she said.
Frye, honored as a “Woman of Courage” for famously exposing former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner and his treatment of women, decided it was time to describe what it was like to serve on the council with DeMaio from 2008 to 2010.
Twice recently, DeMaio has mentioned Frye as an example of his ability to reach across the aisle. She said he’s been creating a false impression of how they worked together.
Frye recalled what she described as DeMaio's tendency to belittle people who don't agree, to take credit for others’ work and to leave council meetings during public comment sessions.
That lack of respect and courtesy is conduct unbecoming of a public servant, she said.
In response, DeMaio said he views his work with the council during the fiscal crisis as a team effort.
“I’m so proud of the fact that we found a city on the brink of bankruptcy and we were able to bring people together,” DeMaio said.
He also said that San Diegans know him to be a reformer.
“I think this campaign is a perfect example of the sort of Congressperson they’re going to see me be in Congress,” he said.