Watch CBS News

OC Congressman Accused Of Trashing $1M Costa Mesa Home

COSTA MESA ( — An Orange County congressman has been accused of trashing a $1 million home in Costa Mesa.

KCAL9's Stacey Butler reports that when Darlene Whitsell and Robert Polyniak rented out their home three years ago, they were thrilled that Republican Dana Rohrabacher, his wife and triplets were their new tenants.

"We thought, 'Wow. A congressman. This is great, how exciting,'" Whitsell said.

When the Rohrabachers moved out, however, the duo claims the family damaged their home so badly, they had to spend more than $20,000 to get it back in the model home shape it used to be in.

"When we saw the condition of the house and it was just…I mean, I'm not kidding you. You walk around and we just kept writing things down. It just kept going on and on and on and on," Whitsell said.

Whitsell and Polyniak showed KCAL9 pictures they took the day the Rohrabachers moved out. The photos showed what appeared to be stained white carpet, a stove filled with grease and damaged tile.

The duo said the Rohrabachers chose not to do a walk through and ignored them when they presented the repair bill.

Rohrabacher, however, told Butler a different version of events.

"[Polyniak] refused to take our phone calls for a year after we moved out to get our deposit back, and after we sued him to get the deposit back, he then counter-sued," he said.

Rohrabacher said he was shocked when he didn't get his $7,000 deposit back.

"They were renting to a family that had three kids who are 6 and 7-years-old. Is it wear and tear after two and a half years that a white carpet will no longer be white?" Rohrabacher said.

The congressman said his family left the house in good shape and he has the pictures to prove it.

"My mother-in-law spent a lot of time making sure that the stove was really clean before we moved out and we have pictures of it," he said. "The court will decide who's right in this."

The case goes to court in April.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.