The controversy surrounding the office of San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts took another turn Wednesday.
Sources have confirmed to NBC 7 Investigates that San Diego County counsel has decided it should hire outside attorneys to defend two former Roberts employees in a lawsuit brought against them by a current Roberts employee, Harold Meza.
The outside counsel would represent Roberts' former Chief of Staff Glynnis Vaughan and his former scheduler Diane Porter.
Meza, a community representative in Roberts' office, filed a lawsuit against both women for allegedly creating a hostile work environment for him. The women have filed claims against the county, identifying Meza in one suit as a “great source of consternation and turmoil amongst the staff.”
The decision to hire outside counsel was made Tuesday in a Board of County Supervisors meeting, according to NBC 7 Investigates sources.
One source explained Vaughan would have been defended by the county no matter what because she was in a supervisorial position. The decision to also defend Porter was based on the “scope of her employment” with the county at the time of her resignation, according to a high ranking county official.
During the discussions Tuesday, the high ranking county official told NBC 7 Investigates a representative for county counsel said, “we can’t represent everyone.”
In his lawsuit against the women, Meza said they both spread “vicious ugly rumors” and “smeared my reputation.”
In Porter’s claim against the county, attorney Christopher Morris wrote, “staff viewed their (Roberts and Meza's) relationship as an inappropriate personal relationship being publicly carried on between a subordinate and supervisor.”
At the press conference announcing his lawsuit earlier this month, Meza said these were “outrageous and obscene allegations about me.”
In addition to Porter and Vaughan, another former Roberts staff member, Lindsey Masukawa, has also filed a claim against the county. In her claim she alleges Roberts misused his public office for political purposes and offered her a higher paying job to lie about it to Human Resources.
The county has 45 days to respond to the claims made by the former employees. The first claim was filed May 13 by Porter.
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