" California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman employed an illegal immigrant Mexican housekeeper for years even though the federal government alerted her in 2003 to the maid's dubious legal status, the worker and her attorney claimed. The Republican Whitman — who on the campaign trail has called for tougher sanctions against employers who hire illegal workers — said the allegations amounted to a baseless stunt. She said she was not aware the housekeeper, Nicky Diaz Santillan, was in the U.S. illegally until the woman volunteered the information in 2009, after which Whitman fired her. In all, the woman worked for the Whitman family for nine years, making $23 an hour. Whitman also denied Diaz Santillan's claim that she received a 2003 letter from the Social Security Administration that said the Social Security number provided by the housekeeper did not match the name on file. Allred did not provide documents to back up her claim. ""We never received that letter or that notification,"" Whitman said after a campaign event in San Jose, Calif. Her campaign released employment applications filled out when the housekeeper was hired in 2000, including a copy of a Social Security card and a California driver's license, that indicated the woman was a legal resident."