No Charges Filed In DeMaio Break-In, Sexual Harassment Case
The San Diego County District Attorney's Office announced Monday that it does not have enough evidence to file criminal charges involving sexual misconduct allegations against Republican congressional candidate Carl DeMaio or for a break-in at his campaign headquarters in May.
“The San Diego Police Department’s investigations of these matters have been very thorough, objective and professional," said District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis in a statement. "SDPD committed significant resources to the investigations and no stone was left unturned. The District Attorney’s Office thoroughly reviewed the investigations. We use the same process and standards for evaluating cases no matter who the parties are. Our focus is, and always will be, the pursuit of justice."
Questions have been raised about whether Dumanis, a Republican, should have recused herself from cases involving DeMaio. She eventually endorsed him for mayor in 2012, after she lost in the mayoral primary. DeMaio also held a fundraiser for her when she successfully ran for re-election this year to a fourth term as district attorney.
Dumanis' statement Monday said that the California Attorney General's Office, which is headed by Democrat Kamala Harris, confirmed the District Attorney’s Office did not have a conflict in reviewing either case.
Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman also issued a statement Monday, saying that "the alleged burglary to Carl DeMaio’s campaign office and the allegations of sexual misconduct against Carl DeMaio were taken seriously and investigated thoroughly," by her department.
"The highest level of confidentially was maintained during the entire investigative process, and will continue to be maintained, to protect the integrity of each investigation," Zimmerman said.
DeMaio said during a news conference where the sexual harassment allegations were raised that Zimmerman called him and said the department "considered this matter closed." The Police Department will not confirm whether Zimmerman made this call.
DeMaio is trying to unseat Democratic Rep. Scott Peters in the 52nd Congressional District, which runs north from Coronado to La Jolla, and then east to include Carmel Valley, Scripps Ranch, Poway and Rancho Bernardo. The race is considered a toss-up in the Nov. 4 election, with a 10News/U-T San Diego poll showing them in a statistical tie.
The sexual harassment allegations against DeMaio were made by one of his former campaign staff members, Todd Bosnich.
After the District Attorney's announcement, Bosnich's lawyer said Bosnich now plans to file civil lawsuits against DeMaio for sexual harassment and retaliation and said Bosnich is considering filing a defamation case. She wrote in an email that they are actively working on the case and "will file a complaint in due course."
Bosnich gave an interview to KFMB radio host Mike Slater on June 2 — the day before the primary election — detailing two instances where he says DeMaio made unwanted sexual advances toward him. The interview never aired.
Bosnich's lawyer, Bibi Fell, said after he gave that interview he was contacted by the San Diego Police Department about the sexual harassment allegations.
She said a month later, Bosnich was again questioned by police about a late May break-in at DeMaio's campaign headquarters.
Then he was contacted by a reporter from CNN, who had a copy of the interview he gave to Slater, Fell said. She said she doesn't know how CNN got a copy of the interview. Bosnich agreed to do an interview with CNN, which aired Oct. 10.
Bosnich confronted DeMaio on May 18 and was fired May 19, Fell said. She said he was offered $50,000 to sign a nondisclosure agreement but refused. After Bosnich confronted DeMaio, he and his family received anonymous threats to stay quiet, she said.
NBC San Diego reported Monday that the FBI is investigating these threats. Darrell Foxworth, a spokesman for the FBI, would not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation.
DeMaio told CNN that Bosnich's allegations are untrue, adding that Bosnich was fired for plagiarizing a report on pensions. He also accused Bosnich of breaking into the campaign office.
DeMaio said Bosnich was fired, but has declined to specify on what date or provide documentation.
And if that wasn't enough intrigue, DeMaio said during a "Politically Speaking" segment on NBC San Diego that his "campaign playbook" was stolen during the break-in and was given to the Peters campaign. Peters confirmed a book was given to his campaign but said he didn't look at it. He said it was turned over to the San Diego Police Department within 24 hours.
Alex Roth, a spokesman for Peters, said in a statement, "we do not know what a campaign playbook is; nor has our campaign ever received anything that could be characterized a 'a campaign playbook' as Mr. DeMaio called it. To reiterate, our campaign staff received information in early June that we immediately transmitted in its entirety to the police."