San Francisco Assemblyman Phil Ting Saturday admitted to having an extramarital affair, but denies the affair had any influence over bills and votes in the state legislature.

Allegations emerged online Friday by a news media website Communities Digital News with the headline:

“Did CA Budget Chair Phil Ting use an extramarital affair to craft legislation?”

The site reported Ting had met a woman through the dating website “What’s Your Price?”, who later testified to strengthen support for Assembly Bill 5 — the controversial bill that took effect this year requires many companies to classify independent contractors as employees.

Carmel Foster, a domestic worker, was identified in the article as the woman with whom Ting had an affair and who testified in support of AB 5.

The article refers to an interview with Foster where she claims she was exploited over the course of four years by Ting, California Labor Federation and the National Domestic Workers Alliance as a “prop to bolster support for a number of ballot measures and bills.”

The article asserts Foster said:

“These unions controlled my testimonies, got stories out of me, and then tossed me out. It was payday for them, not to help domestic.”

Ting on his Twitter account Saturday said:

“Some of you might have seen a report in a right-wing online site alleging that my advocacy for workers was motivated by a relationship outside of my marriage. The allegation that my bills or votes were ever driven by any personal consideration is false. I have fought for the rights of working people my entire adult life.”

Adding that he is privately making amends to his family for the infidelity, Ting said:

“I violated my family’s trust and I must now work, to the extent that I am able, to heal the wounds I have caused them and all of you. I will continue to do my best to represent my district and to work with my colleagues to address the many challenges facing our state.”

In a reply to Ting’s tweets said:

“Thank you for this sincere expression about a deeply painful situation. I wish you & your family the best in moving through this.”

Ching Wong/SFBay San Francisco Assemblyman Phil Ting speaks during a ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of the new Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco, Calif., on Friday, Aug 10, 2018.

Ting was first elected to the California State Assembly in 2012 and currently sits as the chair of the Assembly Budget Committee.

Communities Digital News said Friday’s story was just the first in a three-part investigative series, but did not say when the two other stories will be published.

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn is the San Francisco Bureau Chief of SFBay. A San Francisco native, he has spent a decade covering transportation in San Francisco. Send tips to jerold@sfbay.ca or at Twitter @Jerold_Chinn.

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