County Supe Candidate Walked Around in Just a Bath Towel, Former Campaign Staffer Says

Dominic Caserta’s living room doubles as his campaign headquarters—but according to a couple people who worked with him, the aspiring Santa Clara County supervisor made himself a little too at home.

A draft resignation letter sent anonymously to Fly and penned by former Caserta staffer Ian Crueldad accuses his ex-boss of parading around in nothing but a bath towel on several occasions, among other unspecified improprieties.

Crueldad says he sent the parting note to a handful of friends to review but not to Caserta and not to Fly. But he confirms that he wrote it, and says the walking-around-in-a-towel incidents happened about a few times a week in the five months he worked on the campaign. Sometimes, he adds, the 42-year-old candidate would walk around in gray boxer briefs.

Caserta firmly denies the allegations, calling Crueldad a lazy, lying, disgruntled ex-employee who left because he wanted to get paid more.

“This is absolute pure fiction,” Caserta says after berating Fly for even asking about the claim. “This is somebody who’s been fired from multiple campaigns saying this about a public school teacher who’s run for office six times.”

Caserta then had a campaign consultant, two campaign staffers—Olivia Brady and Daniel Huynh, both 19—and a lifelong friend call Fly as character witnesses. Jeannie Mahan, who supported Caserta’s campaigns for Santa Clara City Council, says she’s horrified that anyone would sully a selfless public servant and respected educator.

“This is so wrong,” she tells Fly. “So, so wrong.”

According to Crueldad, Caserta called to cuss him out on Monday after Fly began inquiring about the letter. “He called me a motherfucker,” Crueldad recounts in contemporaneous notes of the call, “and he told me … he would rip me through the media and have his consultants and the 49ers come after me.”

Caserta denies that account of the conversation.

Crueldad acknowledges the money issue in his letter. According to him, he took home $500 a month for working 50-hour weeks since January. He says he was never fired from any former campaigns, as Caserta alleges, and that he was far from lazy. He shared dozens of text messages to show how often Caserta communicated with him, assigned him tasks and praised his work: “Great job,” “U r the man,” “U r amazing.”

One former Caserta volunteer, who asked to withhold his name, says Crueldad brought up his concerns about the candidate months ago. The volunteer also says a female colleague told him that Caserta touched her thigh and whispered in her ear, which he says she laughed off at the time.

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75 Comments

  1. So let’s get this straight this is a disgruntled employee who wanted more money and didn’t get it, has been fired from other jobs, will not comment on a draft letter that was sent to Fly anonymously, another accusers who won’t use his name, 34 days before an election libeling the front runner for Supervisor in Caserta and you have three other people who DO go on the record using their own names denying these falsehoods and you still publish this fake news. What happened to journalistic standards? This fake piece is nothing more than a poor reflection of a disgruntled ex-employee who wanted more money and the trash that is the Fly. Caserta is an independent, passionate candidate and celebrated teacher who is clearly winning this race and a desperate attempt to change this inevitable trajectory. Fly please review what good reporting is, this is national inquirer trash, I thought you were better than that!

      • With the claims in this article and the timing I felt it was trash. I now see that the article was a catalyst for further allegations. I am not one to presume one guilty by media accounts alone, however, there appears to be overwhelming independent allegations that some misconduct as occurred.

        I rescind by prior remarks. However, it does appear to be a well timed article.

        • Yeah, the initial article was strategic — to try to get more people to come out of the woodwork. When we ran it, we knew a lot more than we initially reported but wanted to save it for the follow-up. The plan worked.

          Thanks for weighing in.

    • I get what you are saying, but calling out others for not using their own name while you also are not use your real name makes no sense. You created an ID for the sole purpose of refuting one article.

    • Hahahaha
      Actually I went to school with this man, he was one of the economic teachers. Female students I knew didn’t want to take his class because they felt uncomfortable around him. I never felt comfortable around him as a high-school student and was elated when I didn’t have to take his class. I’m honestly not surprised.

    • I went to santa clara high school as well, and this is in line with everything I every heard about him. I’m seeing facebook groups with people i went to school with, and many girls are coming forward with stories.

  2. “a female colleague told him that Caserta touched her thigh and whispered in her ear, which he says she laughed off at the time.”

    This is reprehensible behavior. Caserta is just another Trump and Weinstein. He’s another man in power who thinks he can have his way with younger females in the workplace. I encourage this woman to come forward and SanJoseInside and other media outlets to help her. What we know is that if there’s one, there’s many. Others will come forward, too.

    Caserta needs to be accountable for sexual harassment, maybe even sexual assault since it involved touching.

    • > This is reprehensible behavior. Caserta is just another Trump and Weinstein.

      Or, you could have said that Caserta is just another Bill Clinton or Gavin Newsom.

      Who?

      Bill Clinton. Acclaimed as one of the greatest Democrat politicians ever and Hillary Clinton’s spouse with whom she SHARES a 500 million dollar estate.

  3. Ian Crueldad should be applauded for having the courage to call out Dominic Caserta for inappropriate behavior. He’s clearly standing up to a bully. Caserta says his consultants and the 49ers will get him. Does Caserta think he’s Santa Clara’s version of Donald Trump or Tony Soprano? If I’m in the DA’s office, I’m definitely looking into this story.

    • > Does Caserta think he’s Santa Clara’s version of Donald Trump or Tony Soprano?

      Jerry:

      Get back to reality. Tony Soprano is an imaginary, fictional character.

      The narrative that the Left tells about Trump is also imaginary and fictional.

  4. Hey Ian — you were paid $2.50 per hour. You probably didn’t get health insurance either. Caserta should be ashamed for exploiting you and presumably other campaign workers.

    To the remaining workers/slaves on the Caserta campaign — you should quickly join or report your servitude to the Campaign Workers Guild, a group that unionizes campaign workers to stop this type of exploitation.

    https://www.npr.org/2018/04/22/604076763/long-hours-low-pay-push-some-democratic-campaign-workers-to-unionize

    • Umm-m… is he really a “slave”? He could he have just quit if he didn’t like the wages, hours, and working conditions, couldn’t he?

      Or, he could have gone on strike, “Samuel Gompers”.

      But he didn’t do any of those pro-union things, did he?

      You’re using the name of a respected union organizer, but I think he would just shake his head if he saw your lame comment.

  5. So a man walked around in a towel in his own home? Cry me a river, is this news?

    I happen to know Crueldad and Can vouch he is incompetent.

    Caserta you still have our respect. Metro, please filter your stories.

    • I looked at something. I do not much about campaigns, but I looked at one campaign that Ian “I ate a big breakfast” Crueldad set up. Political directors, field coordinators, Literature Editors, etc. It was for a small city election. No one was just a volunteer. Yep, the person lost. Seems as though he likes titles but not work

  6. Ian Crueldad has a checkered history according to his Internet postings. He even boasts about how he wants to have all campaign interns report to him. His GW “political career” is spotted, and Crueldad boasts of setting up a company where he will have ultimate authority over interns in a campaign. Does this excuse Caserta? NO. But when the accuser has a jaded past, it is suspect.

  7. Fly you have no names asserting any of this happened except Ian, a person who was let go by the Santa Cruz Realtors for incompetence and a disgruntled contractor who wanted more money from Caserta sound like extortion to me! How low can your standards be Metro? Truly embarrassing! Thank you I know exactly who I am going to vote for now for Supervisor now: Dominic Caserta!

  8. I just look this Ian online he is an embarrassment. Fly how could you run a story with no evidence or people willing to go on the record except people refuting this BS! This is gotcha tabloid junk. And not to even allow this Caserta to respond to the call that Ian claims to remember is appalling.

    • Wow – Very well coordinated counter-campaign Caserta (and interns)! Keep pumping those talking points.

  9. Money talks. More than honesty.

    Olivia Brady and Daniel Huynh are campaign staffers defending Caserta. They’re paid by Caserta. Can they be honest?

    “Jeannie Mahan, who supported Caserta’s campaigns for Santa Clara City Council …”

    Mahan’s clearly not trustworthy. First, she’s a political supporter. But also Mahan did not honestly disclose that she’s a sponsor of a major independent expenditure for Caserta’s campaign for Supervisor. That, I would say is “so, so wrong.”

    • An opponent to Caserta wrote a post, so is he trustworthy? Yes, you would expect campaign workers to support their boss. Only two takeaways here. Caserta has a maturity problem. Two. Crueldad obviously is a loser and will never work again. Done.

  10. It sounds to me like the campaign staffers had decided that they wanted to be paid more money, so they decided to do a hatchet job on Caserta. We see this all the time, especially when a candidate is doing well. In this day and age where a dirty look makes headlines, this kind of smear job is standard operating procedure for the opposition or for unhappy staffers. Mr. Caserta is far too intelligent and careful to have done a stupid thing like that! I stand by my total support for Mr. Caserta, and will not allow this kind of B.S. change my mind in any way!

  11. > Sometimes, he adds, the 42-year-old candidate would walk around in gray boxer briefs.

    Gray is fairly understated and tasteful.

    Plaid or polka dot would have been a screaming statement of some kind. I don’t know what.

    At least it wasn’t a thong.

    But, I’m just assuming. It WASN’T a thong, was it?

  12. Votes please look at the sources here: the Metro that runs sex ads and Ian Crueldad that is a juvenile embarrassment please look at his information he posts online.

    And then there is Caserta, a teacher of the year and three term Councilmember that has a beautiful family and fiscally prudent voting record. I am voting for Caserta. Metro you are a stain on freedom of the press. I am sure that if this Ian extorted more money from Caserta this draft letter who hav never been written that is all you need to know. Extortion and fake news from a disgruntled hack!

  13. News flash, Bill Clintoon spotted walking around the local High School in a towel trolling for a date.

    CNN reports Clintoon has been training to run a marathon in a traditional Greek toga and using the track at the local High School.

    Spin Fly Spin!

  14. My god the reading comprehension of our citizenry is reprehensible. This is a fair account. The fly reported on both sides of the issue. The Ian character did in fact draft a letter of resignation that included an accusation that Caserta walked around in a towel and boxer shorts regardless if that accusation is true or not the letter made it’s way to The Fly. No fake news here. If you like Caserta and are going to vote for Caserta do so, don’t attack the integrity of the news.

  15. Since I assume this is a primarily a site read by San Jose residents, let me share some information about Dominic Caserta from the Mission City.

    He is universally considered to be a immature person with a bad and volatile temperament. And that’s what his friends say. His enemies think is sleazy and corrupt, too.

    This story proves that he’s not fit for office. His minions who are attacking this young man are being pushed by a boss who is desperate and will do anything to get elected.

    God bless the people who are standing up to Caserta. You’re all doing the right thing.

  16. I have lived in Santa Clara for 27 years. I know Dominic personally and he is so respected by his students and staff at SCHS. He is a passionate leader on the City Council, as well. This is simply smut journalism and a disgruntled ex contractor who didn’t get the raise he wanted. I have met Ian before is the so lazy and unimpressive.

  17. I personal know Ian and I have a great trust of him. I trust Ian to be present with my three Daughters but I wouldn’t blink if the candidate was present!! All I hear is a cry for help from someone brave enough to step forward to stop sexual harassment. Are the local schools still sending young women into the lions den, with out oversight?!! WT??? Is this true the San Francisco 49 ers are backing a sexual harasser ????

    • Oh, dear the 49ers are to blame again. Very likely that the matter is in the Steele dossier. I said it more than once, Caserta has emotional issues. You voters take it from there, but even Crueldad’s own writings show him to be a smarmy full of himself twit. Ok, vote against Caserta and you will not get an argument from me, but do it for a ton of food reasons, and find a convenient Subway for Ian to punch in 8 hours a day in the real world.

      • Wow you seem to be very busy Bert Oliver with this article. I’m not sure why you are so aggressive towards Ian though. Seems to be a personal.

    • I don’t know the accuser but everything that was mentioned from beginning to end with the girls statements I’d have to say is true because I’ve witnessed the tantrums and experienced a similar situation to this girl. I don’t blame you Mike J. Everyone is so swayed to believe an image and he is protected which isn’t gonna do nothing for anyone who speaks out.

  18. I’m not from your area, but wandered onto this story after reading your story about the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

    I’ve worked with companies and organization on workplace culture in many states. I’ve seen a lot of examples of harassment. This is a classic case. The first employee to come forward always bears the brunt of criticism from management. Then, when others come forward, management takes the issue seriously and begins to take concrete steps to address the toxic situation.

    This campaign suffers from the same issues as the SVCF and NBC and Fox News and many others.

    • The issues of maturity and judgement are the issues here. County Supervisors hire staff.

      Rocha, well experienced and competent staff
      Ellenberg, tasteful, bright, and seems to be well educated. Could hire good staff
      Baker is an Evan Low trained staffer, I think
      Oliverio, hopeless.
      Caserta just does not have the maturity. It is obvious. Now he has accusers who are not clean, one critic was well known in school for pushing for the library to stock Playboy. Does that excuse Caserta? Nope. The story just reveals everyone associated with Caserta is dirty.

  19. If this Ian fellow got the extra money he wanted none of this would be written about. This is not newsworthy and if it were true by this Caserta then why aren’t people using their names on he record like his character witnesses are?

    I will tell you one thing Ian Crueldad will never work in politics again.

  20. Ian Crueldad will work in politics again … if he wants to. Ian did nothing wrong. He called out someone in power for doing something wrong. The young man has guts. He can look in the mirror and be proud.

    The people who are threatening him are either dunces or sycophants commenting to defend Caserta. They are also trying to scare others from talking. They should look in the mirror and be ashamed.

    And I hope they fail.

  21. Ok?

    I already wrote Caserta has made a fatal error. I wrote urging people to reject Caserta.

    As for Buster,

    Oh, please, no one will hire a rat.

  22. Bill Cosby, drugged women to assault them
    Harvey Weinstein was sexual monster who used his power for sex

    Dominic Caserta…walks around in a towel in his living room! Put him behind bars dammit!

  23. Thank you for writting his this article. Im glad that the truth about his behavior is out there but there’s so much more. I was a former student of his and the way he treated his students was shameful.

    • Could you elaborate? I was a former student too, and all I remember is one joke he was prodded into sharing by the class that was less than tasteful. And just being impatient and expecting alot from us, like most AP teachers.

      • Tantrums and unwanted advances ring a bell? Did all the girls sit in the front rows in your class? Did he like to brag about his manis and pedis and overuse his chapstick ?? LOL

        • Tantrums was common for alot of teachers so I didn’t think much of it, but true enough. Girls in front no, advances not during my tenure. ~7 years ago

        • As a former student of his many years ago, I can definitely agree that many girls sat in the back of the rows in his class, or at least no where near the front.

  24. Crueldad…can we at least take a moment to admire how truly terrible that name is. Generations of crueldads have come and gone and none of them had the sense to change that name lol

  25. ““This is absolute pure fiction,” Caserta says after berating Fly for even asking about the claim. “Th”

    Wait, Caserta got to talk to the Fly…who is the fly? Dom, you know, come on here and tell us!

  26. I am not necessarily trying to ruin this fellow. Obviously Caserta has unclean hands here. He is holding up the 49ers for thousands. He has the Persky campaign consultant reaching into their pockets for many. Leon Beuchmsn managed to get in on some deals for relatives thanks to Caserta. Yes, it is a campaign issue as Caserta would be hiring staff as a supervisor and spread he has shown civil service is not his forte.

    • Obviously Caserta has unclean hands here.

      Obviously?

      Lots of multi-taskers here: judge, jury, and executioner… all for one low price!

  27. Bert’s a manchild and needs to get his ass whooped. Stop defending your son Casertas and go bake an apple pie or something. You might get a heart attack from all this excitement.

  28. I wonder if he is same guy I saw walking down Winchester totally naked the other day? Maybe a relative or campign consultant? Called SJ police and the dispatcher asked what would I like to happen? Jeezaloo, I don’t know, buy him a drink or pair him up with other vagrants on the street so he won’t stand out.

  29. Why would a “draft resignation letter” for review include details about a candidate walking around in their boxers? This doesn’t make any sense. It sounds like Crueldad wanted this sent to the Fly intentionally via third party aka “anonymously.” Regardless of whether or not the allegations are true about Caserta, Crueldad would be considered an undesirable employee for any campaign going forward.

    • It sounds like Crueldad wanted this sent to the Fly intentionally via third party aka “anonymously.”

      That’s exactly what it sounds like. And even if it’s true, it happened in Caserta’s own house.

      If Crueldad was so shocked, maybe he should have asked Caserta to put on a tux.

      When someone brings up carp like this way after the putative event, just before an election, and after he lost his job, it looks like sour grapes and petty revenge.

      And if that’s the worst thing Caserta has done, keep in mind that “Pierluigi” Olivero can still be viewed on YouTube, openly stealing someone’s property—and that isn’t speculation.

  30. This does not surprise me about an “educator” who would constantly find highschool girls in his class wearing low cut tops and conveniently stand next to them for the entire period. Speak to students from his classes and I’m sure you’ll find similar stories about the man.

  31. $500 a month?

    I think someone buried the lede for the clickbait “Bath Towel” headline.

    What is that like $3 an hour? So this progressive, selfless public servant and respected educator pays his employee $3 an hour. Delicious. I don’t think minimum wage has been that low since the 80s.

  32. 45,000 from correctional officers supporting Caserta to committee opposing Oliverio. Gosh, talk about “coordination”
    Now Crueldad moans about getting 2 grand while Caserta and his minions are awash with hundreds of thousands. A Givenchy beach towel?

  33. Hi, I was in Caserta’s class in high school and he was a prowling and lecherous perv who would stand with his crouch hovering as close as possible to the edge of his female students’ desks. He would comment on female students clothing as frequently as he could, I guess to get them to know he was looking, but it was never normal. He was under 30 at the time. Guarantee you this is just the tip of his iceberg. Maybe you should check with his former TA’s from this time and see what they say.

  34. The numerous posts about Caserta’s teaching career are troubling, there is no doubt. Well, if he was a Scout leader going camping his desire for a shirtless manner would soon be checked by poison ivy. It is the endless fluid dynamics of his campaign war chest that is troubling enough to merit investigation. Hundreds of thousands from developers, contractors, unions, even the 49ees is a story of a Trumpian industry of a political campaign. That is what should concern voters. The stock in Caserta Had to be sold short.

    • > Hundreds of thousands from developers, contractors, unions, even the 49ees is a story of a Trumpian industry of a political campaign. That is what should concern voters.

      What the hell is a “Trumpian industry of a political campaign.”

      And why should it concern voters?

      I’m guessing that it’s just a mindless, cheap applause line in Democrat circles.

      For the record, Trump ran a very skinny campaign and a lot of political consultants went hungry. Which made them hate Trump.

      That’s why there are “never Trumpers.” Trump turned fat cat consultants into very undernourished, and very angry cats.

  35. I have volunteered for Caserta and I went to his house which has a room for his headquarter. I have never seen him act unprofessional. Just because people don’t like someone, it doesn’t mean they have to ruin someone’s career and life. We have so many hardworking individuals in this country and usually people like to ruin their life during their campaign. This is not nice.

  36. As his former student I can attest to his sexual harrassing students, myself and a friend. Girls left his class or tried to leave. The staff was aware of these complaints yet no one did anything. Leaving us all who couldn’t transfer out scared to come to class every day. He frogto something one day and spent 15mins berating a fellow classmate for wearing a Metallica t-shirt. When the student went to the principle, he did nothing. He is sick man who should not be teaching kids or around kids.

  37. I remember Dominic as active in the SCU college republicans on campus. He also liked to chase the girls and send them lots of crazy emails. I’m surprised, now, to hear he is a democrat, when he used to rail against Bill Clinton. What a strange guy.

  38. This isn’t an eloquent comment from me by any means. I have spoken to Ian Crueldad. And many others. Sometimes names are withheld for concerns of retaliation or revenge. Just because sources are “unnamed” doesn’t take away their legitimacy. These sources are real people, with vivid stories. They are not “anonymous” sources, they are simply not named.

    It sickens me seeing so many bogus comments, from people commenting anonymously, with fake emails and names. I see some identical comments here on San Jose Inside, that I do on my site, Santa Clara News Online. Same style, same bad grammar, same caps on key names and terms. Simply amazing how low some people will go with their comments. It is disgusting how quickly people attack others in online forums over comments.

    Just because you don’t agree with the content, doesn’t make it “fake news.” Journalists serve as government watchdogs and have long raised the issue of misconduct by elected officials and public employees. I applaud people like Ian Crueldad and now many others for coming forward, but I give absolute praise to the staff at San Jose Inside for committing to quality community journalism. I trust the news judgement of the staff at San Jose Inside, which, as I mentioned last week on my site (Santa Clara News Online), has won multiple awards from the California News Publisher’s Association (CNPA).

    It is amazing how shallow some people are, and how quickly they will judge the integrity of fine journalists. Please try to respect the integrity and honesty of good people. Journalists are a rare breed that sacrifice a lot of time, sweat and tears for the community.

    Kudos to San Jose Inside for having the integrity to move forward on the touch, investigative stories like this one. This same staff has also uncovered many other stories that have bettered the community as a whole. If it wasn’t for quality journalists, Watergate would likely never have been uncovered. Quality journalism truly watches out for the community – whether you like that, or not, it is true.

    • Robert what do you think of the most recent happening concerning Dominic Caserta? An email containing his disciplinary record was sent to the whole district and only serves to confirm this rather ugly depiction of him. It seems really strange because one, there seems to be a laundry list of incidents that should have got him fired but didn’t. So the school district may be liable for covering it up. THEN it’s extremely stranged that so many people were cc’d due to this whistleblower and yet…I don’t see this on any news site whatsoever.

  39. 20 years ago, my daughter was in high school. Caserta was a teacher at that school where he relentlessly pursued my 15-year-old daughter. Called her at home asking the color of her underpants, talking sexual, etc. When I confronted him, he lied and said she pursued him. He told me he loved her. A real piece of work. The high school was Aquinas high school in San Bernardino, CA. The years was around 1996-1997. The principle of the school at that time as
    Fr. Andrew Sotelo. He brought Dominic on at that school and defended him when my wife and I met with him to discuss Caserta. Later, Sotelo was on an episode of 60 minutes for doing the same thing to seminarians back in his day.

    • Hi Bob … I’m so sorry about what your family went through. I tried to send an email, btw, but the message bounced back. Can you reach out to me so we can talk more about this? I’m at: [email protected]

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