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.