A former Carl DeMaio staffer who lied to investigators about a phony email he sent to make it appear DeMaio or another associate threatened him was sentenced Monday to five years probation and ordered to enroll in a mental health treatment program.
Todd Bosnich, who pleaded guilty in June to obstruction of justice and apologized at his sentencing hearing, was also ordered to perform 240 hours of community service.
His attorney, Frank Vecchione, said Bosnich, 30, fabricated the email to bolster sexual harassment claims against DeMaio.
According to his plea agreement, DeMaio — who in 2013 announced he was running for California’s 52nd Congressional District against Democrat Scott Peters — hired Bosnich to be the campaign’s policy director.
In May 2014, after Bosnich was fired from the campaign, he claimed that DeMaio had made a series of unwanted sexual advances toward him and that when he complained to DeMaio’s campaign manager, he was first “marginalized” and later offered a $50,000 payment in exchange for signing a “non-disclosure” agreement.
The DeMaio campaign maintained Bosnich was fired not because of the sexual harassment claim, but because of poor work performance, according to the plea agreement.
Sometime between late in the evening of May 27, 2014, and the early morning of May 28, 2014, an intruder at DeMaio’s campaign headquarters cut telephone lines, broke laptop computers, damaged office equipment and stole a notebook containing sensitive campaign information, according to the plea agreement.
On May 29, 2014, Bosnich sent Peters’ chief of staff several internal DeMaio emails that he had received during his tenure as DeMaio’s policy director. The defendant also reiterated his claim that DeMaio had sexually harassed him and threatened to destroy him if he did not stay quiet about the harassment.
Peters’ chief of staff took the Bosnich emails to the San Diego Police Department.
On June 5, 2014, according to the plea agreement, Bosnich set up a “dummy” email account from his home, using false identifying information.
Bosnich then used the “dummy” Yahoo account to send a particularly ugly and threatening message to his own personal email account, the plea agreement stated.
The threatening email referenced Bosnich’s disclosures to Peters’ chief of staff and suggested the “anonymous” author of the email would ensure that the defendant never again worked in politics if he didn’t stop making accusations against DeMaio.
The FBI was contacted, and Bosnich told agents at a meeting that he speculated the author of the email was DeMaio or someone associated with the campaign.
At another meeting with authorities in October 2014, Bosnich falsely asserted that he did not know who sent him the threatening email.
The District Attorney’s Office announced in October 2014 that it would not file charges in connection with the break-in at DeMaio’s headquarters or Bosnich’s sexual harassment allegations.
DeMaio, an openly gay Republican, lost in his bid to unseat Peters.
— City News Service
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