House ethics committee releases San Nicolas report to the public

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Guam Congressman Michael San Nicolas (PNC file photo)

The chairman and ranking member of the House ethics committee, Rep. Theodore E. Deutch (D-Florida), has released to the public the ethics case against Guam Delegate Michael San Nicolas.

In a news release dated March 1, 2021, Deutch stated that his committee received a referral from the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) on the San Nicolas ethics case dated Feb. 10, 2020, and that his committee is now making this report public.

The report states that:

= San Nicolas may have omitted required information from or disclosed false information in his Federal Election Commission (FEC) candidate committee reports. If Del. San Nicolas failed to disclose required information or disclosed false information in his FEC filings, then he may have violated House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law;

= San Nicolas may have accepted cash contributions that were in excess of FEC limits for individual donors and in excess of the limits for cash contributions. If Del. San Nicolas accepted such contributions, then he may have violated House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law; and

= San Nicolas’ campaign committee, Michael San Nicolas for Congress (the “campaign committee”), reported campaign disbursements that may not be legitimate and verifiable campaign expenditures attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes. If Del. San Nicolas converted campaign funds to personal use, or if Del. San Nicolas’ campaign committee expended funds that were not attributable to bona fide or verifiable campaign or political purposes, then Del. San Nicolas may have violated House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law.

The Board of the Office of Congressional Ethics, by a unanimous vote, adopted the report and ordered it to be transmitted to the Committee on Ethics of the United States House of Representatives.

The board recommended the following:

= That the committee further review the above allegations concerning Del. San Nicolas, stating there is substantial reason to believe that San Nicolas failed to disclose required information or disclosed false information in his FEC filings;

= That the committee further review the above allegations concerning Del. San Nicolas because there is substantial reason to believe that Del. San Nicolas accepted cash contributions that were in excess of FEC limits for individual donors and in excess of the limits for cash contributions; and

= That the committee further review the above allegations concerning Del. San Nicolas because there is substantial reason to believe that Del. San Nicolas converted campaign funds to personal use.

In his news release, Chairman Deutch stated:

“The Committee notes that the mere fact of an investigation into these allegations does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred. No other public comment will be made on this matter except in accordance with Committee rules.”

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