Congressman Michael San Nicolas held a press conference earlier today to address the Committee on Ethics investigation findings on the Delegate’s allegedly unethical practices in the office.
Here’s what was said during the conference.
The Congressman and Gubernatorial candidate came forward to make one point clear regarding the investigation findings and the allegations against him.
Congressman Michael San Nicolas stated, “This ethics process has concluded and there was no findings of guilt. And in fact, they concluded with no formal charges being filed at all.”
Despite no formal charges being brought upon the Delegate, allegations of accepting an excessive amount of campaign contributions, falsifying records to hide the proceeds of illicit campaign contributions, and tampering with a witness involved in the investigation still weigh on the Congressman’s shoulders.
The Committee on Ethics found that there was “substantial evidence” that San Nicolas knowingly committed the alleged unethical actions.
One of which actions were procuring $9,000 from a single donor, which he denied in today’s meeting.
Congressman Michael San Nicolas denied the procurement, saying, “No. I never received any donation of the sort from any constituent.”
According to the Committee’s report, the former Campaign Manager for San Nicolas came forward to the Committee and testified that the Congressman was expecting the money and that the donor would give a $10,000 cash donation to San Nicolas.
The San Nicolas legal counsel reported that, despite San Nicolas denying firsthand accepting the donation and despite the witness testimony, the money was refunded back to the donor anyway.
More questions by the press honed in on the allegations on San Nicolas and his legal counsel’s responses instead fired back on the integrity of the Committee’s investigation.
Attorney Stanley Woodward stated, “What explanation do they give for why this took so long. They don’t give any because they don’t have any.”
Woodward told those in attendance that San Nicolas and his legal team were responsive to the Committee’s requests for testimony from the Congressman.
However, according to San Nicolas’s legal counsel, the Committee was not responsive to them.
When asked why San Nicolas didn’t appear before the Committee or the public prior to today to address the circulating news of allegations he faced, Woodward provided a response akin to “well he’s here now.”
He stated, “Isn’t that a more forthcoming offer than sitting with a Committee and allowing them to cherry pick his statements?”
“Cherry picking” was the term they often used to describe the evidence the Committee detailed on the report.
San Nicolas and his legal counsel also called the report “colorful” in language and “salacious” in damaging the Delegate’s reputation.
Despite the arguments of the defense and the findings of the Committee — along with the public’s opinion surrounding the investigation — San Nicolas said that he will not resign as Congressman or resign from the Gubernatorial race — neither will his running mate Sabrina Salas Matanane.
The Committee on Ethics have forwarded the report to the Department of Justice for prosecution and awaits their response.
For the Pacific News Center
I’m Devin Eligio