By Ken Stone
Several days after suffering a broken nose — head-butted by an ex-con at Viejas Casino — San Diego labor leader Mickey Kasparian fired the attacker’s wife.
The wife, identified as UFCW Local 135 insurance clerk Roseanne “Rose” Gil Miner, was let got for reasons of office safety, Kasparian said in an August deposition.
The assailant, Matthew Miner, “had been a ticking time bomb,” Kasparian said of the 2011 incident. “And so we had a safety issue at the local” because he kept a tight rein on his wife, watching who she went in and out with. “And then after what happened to me, it was evident that people … (thought) he was unstable and may lash out.”Asked his “understanding” of why he’d been attacked, Kasparian answered: “zero understanding.”
The violence was “100 percent a surprise,” he told lawyers at his San Diego deposition in the sex-under-pressure suit of former Local 135 employee Isabel Vasquez.
But Vasquez’s lawyer, Manuel “Manny” Corrales Jr., pressed his client’s allegation: Matthew Miner bloodied Kasparian because the labor leader asked his wife for sex during a private business lunch.
At least eight times in the videotaped session, witnessed by Vasquez, Corrales asked Kasparian whether he had “propositioned” Rose Miner for sex.
Kasparian denied it each time, sometimes with “absolutely not.”
The same about a claim that he told Vasquez: “I love you” or “I really love you.”
Nearly a year after Vasquez filed a complaint alleging Kasparian forced her into a 15-year, sporadic sexual relationship, no trial date has been set. In fact, Kasparian and co-defendant United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 135 of Mission Valley have made a motion for summary judgment on Jan. 12, 2018.
They want Judge Ronald Styn in San Diego Superior Court to throw out the case for several reasons, including Vasquez “did not file her complaint against the defendants with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing until December 20, 2016, more than two years after the alleged acts of harassment.”
Styn is coordinating her case and two related suits against Local 135 President Kasparian. Fired union worker Sandy Naranjo, whose case turns a year old this Friday, alleges wrongful termination and gender discrimination. (But in September she dropped her March 2017 suit against FAIR, the Federation of Agents and International Representatives.)
Kasparian also is seeking to have Naranjo’s case dropped. That motion for summary judgment will be heard Feb. 2, 2018. Meanwhile, a trial readiness conference is set for March 2, 2018, and a civil jury trial starting March 9.
Anabel Arauz, later fired, alleges workplace retaliation.
“[Depositions] are going on in my case, but we don’t have any trial date for mine yet,” Arauz said Thursday. She now works as an organizer for IBEW Local 465 in the Miramar area.
Kasparian denies all accusations.
The 2-hour deposition of Kasparian, a powerful local Democrat with a breakaway labor council, took place the morning of Aug. 24 at Corrales’ office across the street from the Rancho Bernardo branch library. With him were Kasparian lawyers Michael Feinberg, Michael Four and Blake Jones.
The San Diego Reader in November was the first to report elements of the deposition — including the sensational tidbit that Kasparian has two moles on his penis.
The moles are key because Vasquez claims she saw them when forced to perform oral sex on Kasparian — in his truck, office and various hotel rooms. Even in his car in the parking lot of the La Mesa Claim Jumper.
But Kasparian, 59, denies any sex with Vasquez, saying she heard of the mole either from Terry Hunt, her husband, or John Hotaling, who has since died.
“Several years ago I had a cancer scare,” Kasparian says in the deposition. “I developed this mole, describing it very vividly as Ms. Vasquez described it. And I made mention of that to Terry and another person in the union representatives area and that I was scared that I thought it was cancer. And I was going to go to the doctor to see what the status of that was.”
Corrales later asked Kasparian: “Other than the source of Terry Hunt and possibly John Hotaling, is there any other reason that you believe that she might have said this about your penis?”
Kasparian replied: “No.”
Times of San Diego obtained the deposition from a source who asked not to be identified. But after the Times notified Corrales that the document had been leaked, the Vasquez attorney sent Times a portion of a deposition of Terence L. Hunt, taken Oct. 5 in San Diego.
Corrales asked Hunt: “Mr. Kasparian said in his deposition that he believes the reason Isabel might have known [about the mole] was because Mr. Kasparian had a conversation with you where he told you that he had this mole on his penis. And my question to you is: Is that true?”
Hunt: “That’s not true. He’s a liar.”
Corrales: “OK. I’m going to ask you again. Are you absolutely sure that you never had a conversation with Mr. Kasparian where he told you that he had a mole on his penis?”
Hunt: “I’m absolutely positive that conversation never existed.”
Kasparian also denied saying that state Sen. Connie Leyva, a former UFCW local president based in Claremont, was “only appointed because she had tits.” (Leyva’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment.)
He denied saying Albertsons’ negotiator Stephanie Buschae looked like a “crack whore.” (“That was something that another leader had missaid. I never said that.”)
The 26,000-word deposition also serves as a primer on Kasparian’s career — how he graduated from a Bronx high school in 1976, attended Mercy College for two years in Dobbs Ferry, New York, and moved to California in 1985, where he managed a La Mesa apartment complex for two years.
Kasparian took a two-year, twice-a-week meat-cutter course at San Diego City College and apprenticed at the Vons store at College Avenue and El Cajon Boulevard. He became a union organizer with Local 135 in 1997 and rose to president in 2003.
Another line of questioning in the August deposition was the role of Rosalyn Hackworth, who retired in June 2016 after years as secretary-treasurer of Local 135 — second-in-command to Kasparian. She made $150,000 a year.
Corrales sought to establish that Hackworth — despite acting as a de facto human resources officer — had no HR training. Neither did she have experience in handling complaints of sexual harassment, the document indicates.
But Kasparian said he and other Local 135 staffers took online sexual harassment training set up by Hackworth at his request. Kasparian took it twice, in fact, he said.
Corrales asked Kasparian why he directed Hackworth to set up the classes — apparently a decade ago.
“I just thought it was necessary that — I think a lot of people didn’t really know what, you know, harassment was and whether it was sexual or otherwise. And I thought it would have been good to educate the staff, including all of us,” Kasparian replied.
Corrales then said: “Did something happen that prompted you to have training for [Local] 135 on sexual harassment?”
“Absolutely not,” Kasparian replied.
Contacted via email Thursday, Hackworth declined to comment on the deposition, the accusers or other aspects of the case.
“I am not involved in the ongoing legal proceedings involving UFCW,” she said from Georgia. “My life is drama free and I intend to keep it that way.”
Updated at 3:50 p.m. Dec. 11, 2017
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