Former San Diego City Councilman and current GOP congressional candidate Carl DeMaio (R) spoke out against a “vicious rumor” on Tuesday, revealing results of a polygraph test taken against allegations that he masturbated in San Diego City Hall restrooms during his 2009 tenure.
DeMaio’s decision to take the test was in response to a Voice Of OC story published last week, accusing him of the act. The main source in that piece was 2009 City Council President and current Democratic state Senator Ben Hueso, who the report claimed was a direct witness on two occasions.
In an interview with The San Diego Union-Tribune, DeMaio denied that report as a smear campaign, calling it “so gross” and “so false.”
“In politics, you see people make accusations all the time,” DeMaio said. “And you know, I’ve had people criticize me before and I usually let it roll off my back. But this one crosses the line.”
Hueso’s camp told both the Union-Tribune and NBC San Diego that he stood by the account and had no further comment. But another name in the Voice Of OC report, former City Councilmember Tony Young, told NBC San Diego Tuesday that he never saw DeMaio “do anything inappropriate.”
Regarding the results of the polygraph, NBC San Diego reports that DeMaio’s test was conducted by Paul Redden, who has worked for years with the city’s police department. DeMaio who is running for Congress, was asked if he recalled masturbating in City Hall restrooms when Hueso was present. DeMaio answered no, and the test did not register any deception in that reading, according to the TV station.
“I’ve chosen to step forward with the only thing I know to do to put it to rest, which is to speak out forcefully and to take a polygraph,” DeMaio told the Union-Tribune. “My advisers said, ‘Don’t take a polygraph. You’re just feeding the story.’ I said, ‘Look my reputation is on the line. San Diego does not need this sort of embarrassing ordeal because organized labor wants to engage in dirty politics.’”
According to the Union-Tribune’s Tuesday report, a DeMaio attorney contacted the Voice Of OC demanding a correction, but the paper stood by its story. In his Tuesday NBC San Diego interview, DeMaio questioned the rumor being revived in the midst of San Diego Mayor Bob Filner’s resignation and an impending special election. DeMaio ran against Filner for mayor in 2012, losing by a narrow three-point margin.
“Local papers in San Diego saw it for being a lie and dismissed it,” DeMaio told NBC San Diego. “And now, conveniently the timing, of bringing it out right as a new mayoral race starts. It’s very clear what this is.”