CENTRAL ISLIP, Long Island — At the federal courthouse in Central Islip on Wednesday, a group filed a letter calling on federal prosecutors to investigate George Santos, the congressman-elect from the area.
He hasn’t been seen or heard from since Monday, when allegations that he’d fabricated most of his resume and personal history surfaced in a detailed investigation.
The report, from the New York Times, showed that Santos, 34, had distorted most aspects of his back story, including having attended Baruch College and NYU; been employed in investment positions at Citigroup and Goldman Sachs; run an animal rescue charity; and managed his family’s investment firm. All of those claims that the congressman-elect has made have no evidence to back them up, according to the New York Times report.
The alleged misrepresentations, as well as Santos’s lack of response, are red hot topics in the district he was elected to serve, in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, along with part of Queens.
At the Seven Seas Diner in Great Neck, customers — who are also voters — were talking about the man who’d been elected to represent them in Washington.
One diner called Santos “an embarrassment.” Another said, “He ought to be arrested.”
It was with that in mind that Nassau County Legislature member Joshua Lafazan led about a dozen other residents to the federal courthouse. They carried with them a letter for U.S. Attorney Breon Peace asking him to investigate the allegations against Santos, which Lafazan and other members of the group said are crimes.
“It is illegal to register to vote at an address at which you do not live,” Lafazan said at a newsconference outside of the courthouse Wednesday morning.
He was referring to reporting done by PIX11 News and other media outlets, in which Santos’s former landlord, Nancy Pothos, said that he’d moved out some three months before the election, and threatened her when he left.
The apartment, in Whitestone, Queens, wasn’t the only one Santos had left during the campaign, according to the New York Times investigation.
The report also showed that Santos had claimed to have lent his campaign hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“How does Santos get evicted from not one but two apartments,” Lafazan said, “and yet have the financial flexibility to loan his campaign $700,000?”
That same question was asked on Wednesday by the Democrat whom Santos defeated in the general election. Robert Zimmerman did an interview with PIX11 News, and said that the allegations were not new, and have always been important for people to know.
“It was documented by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in their research,” Zimmerman said. “Our campaign brought these issues forward repeatedly in the media.”
He said that while a few local publications reported on Santos possibly having misrepresented who he was, it did not become a national story until this week.
Now that it is, Zimmerman said, the focus needs to stay on Santos, and his finances in particular.
“We know also that he’s been bought,” Zimmerman said. “The question is by who, and that’s why this investigation is so important.”
The U.S. attorney’s office declined comment.