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Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman employed an illegal immigrant for nine years, then fired her when the employee said in 2009 that she was in the country illegally, Whitman's campaign said this morning.

The announcement was made in a media call ahead of a press conference at which the employee is expected to claim she was mistreated by Whitman. The Whitman campaign has characterized the claim as political.

Whitman lawyer Tom Hiltachk said the employee was hired in 2000 and provided standard forms showing she was a lawful permanent resident. He said that in June 2009 the employee confessed she was not a legal resident and used false documents to gain employment.

Hiltachk said the employee was subsequently fired.

Stutzman said the employee was "close to the family" and that the situation saddened Whitman.

The Bee is following the employee's press conference now. Check back for updates.


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