House launches ethics investigation against San Nicolas

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Congressman Michael San Nicolas (PNC file photo)

The ethics committee of the U.S. House of Representatives has announced that it has launched an investigation into allegations that Guam delegate Michael San Nicolas had a sexual relationship with a member of his congressional staff.

“Pursuant to Committee Rule 7(g),” states the news release, “the Committee is aware of public allegations that Delegate Michael F. Q. San Nicolas may have engaged in a sexual relationship with an individual on his congressional staff,” and “the Committee, pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a), has begun an investigation and will gather additional information regarding the allegations.”

Under House ethics rules, having sex with a staff member is strictly prohibited.

In addition to the sexual misconduct probe, the ethics committee also said it is looking into allegations that the congressman may have converted campaign funds to personal use, and/or accepted improper or excessive campaign contributions.

The allegations concerning a sexual relationship with a staffer first surfaced here on Guam in September when John Paul Manuel posted the charge on his Facebook page. Manuel was San Nicolas’ former chief of staff when San Nicolas was a Guam senator.

In response to a request for comment from the Pacific News Center Friday morning, San Nicolas issued a statement saying he “welcomes any due process on the matter.”

He also cited the ethics committee announcement which states that “the mere fact that it is investigating these allegations, and publicly disclosing its review, does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the committee.”

In related news, govtrack.com reports that San Nicolas has voted only 47% of the time that he has been eligible to do so. San Nicolas has missed 138 of 259 house votes.

GovTrack is a website that provides information about members of congress, including voting records.

In response San Nicolas told PNC: “Its a trade-off. Many of our most opportune meetings occur during voting time because that’s when administration officials are not meeting with other members.

The congressman explained “that’s how we were able to leverage so much support and traction for war claims so quickly“ adding “voting opportunities can also be impacted when we travel back to Guam. “