On Long Island, George Santos Faces an Investigation and Public Dismay
Days after Representative-elect George Santos admitted to misrepresenting his background, a district attorney on Long Island said she planned to look into whether he could face criminal charges, while Mr. Santos’s supporters expressed mixed reactions.
Anne Donnelly, the Nassau County district attorney, said in a statement that the “numerous fabrications and inconsistencies associated with Congressman-elect Santos are nothing short of stunning” and called for him to be more accountable.
“No one is above the law, and if a crime was committed in this county, we will prosecute it,” said Ms. Donnelly, a Republican, in a statement that was first reported by Newsday.
Ms. Donnelly’s examination adds to the mounting pressure faced by Mr. Santos, a Republican who will represent northern Nassau County and northeast Queens when the next Congress begins, in the wake of a New York Times investigation that uncovered discrepancies in his campaign biography and raised questions about his business dealings.
On Monday, Mr. Santos confirmed some of the inaccuracies identified by The Times. He admitted to lying about having graduated from Baruch College and making misleading claims that he worked for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. He also acknowledged that he was not, as he had claimed, making substantial income as a landlord.
In interviews with more than two dozen Long Islanders, many residents, including some who supported Mr. Santos, said they were disappointed by his actions and angry with his response.
Felestasia Mawere, 50, who voted for Mr. Santos and donated to his congressional campaign, said she believed he should not be in Congress after admitting to misleading voters.
“He cheated,” Ms. Mawere, an accountant who lives in Manhasset, N.Y., said. Of the falsehoods in his biography, she added, “He intentionally put that information knowing that it would persuade voters like me to vote for him.”
Still, Mr. Santos has not lost the broad support of his party, including those who will soon be his constituents.
Jackie Silver, 56, of Great Neck, said she had voted for Mr. Santos and would do so again. She said that those calling for Mr. Santos to step down or face further investigation were targeting him for being a Republican.
“When they don’t like someone, they really go after them,” Ms. Silver, a courier for Uber Eats and DoorDash, said. “Everyone fabricates their résumé. I’m not saying it’s correct.”
Ms. Donnelly is one of several Long Island Republicans who have called on Mr. Santos to face further investigation for his statements on the campaign trail and on financial disclosure forms.
On Tuesday, Representative-elect Nick LaLota, a Republican who won in a neighboring district on Long Island, called for an investigation by the House Ethics Committee. The Nassau County Republican chairman, Joseph G. Cairo Jr., said he “expected more than just a blanket apology” from Mr. Santos.
Mr. Santos and his representatives have not responded to repeated requests seeking comment from The Times, including detailed questions about its reporting.
But after a week of near silence, he began to address the concerns that The Times’s report raised.
Mr. Santos’s biography was removed from his campaign website for most of Tuesday. By Wednesday, an updated version had been posted that excluded several previous details.
Mr. Santos’s biography no longer mentions receiving a degree from Baruch College. On Monday, he admitted that he had not graduated from that institution after The Times reported no record of his doing so. (Another profile of him, on the website of the House Republicans’ campaign committee, said he had also studied at New York University, and that information has also been removed.)
Mr. Santos also removed a mention of his living on Long Island, amid questions about his residency.
Brittany Kriegstein contributed reporting.