Congressman-elect George Santos admitted to fabricating some of his resume but said he plans on taking office come January. NewsdayTV’s Cecilia Dowd reports. Credit: Kendall Rodriguez; City&StateNewYork.com; File Footage; Photo Credit: Newsday / Howard Schnapp

WASHINGTON — Two top Long Island Republicans called on the House Ethics Committee to investigate Congressman-elect George Santos a day after the embattled politician conceded in a series of interviews that he had lied about his educational background and work experience.

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman and incoming Rep. Nick LaLota (R-Bay Shore) each told Newsday that congressional investigators should look into Santos' record, which has come into question after a New York Times investigation found a number of holes in the biography he touted on the campaign trail.

"I think that he's entitled to a hearing with the [House] Ethics Committee, and that they should do a thorough investigation to see if he violated any laws or any ethics rules," Blakeman said in an interview. "I think that we have to let the process unfold, which I think will happen fairly swiftly."

LaLota, who is part of the freshman class of legislators set to be sworn in with Santos on Jan. 3, said in a statement to Newsday that he believes a "full investigation by the House Ethics Committee and, if necessary, law enforcement is required."

"New Yorkers deserve the truth and House Republicans deserve an opportunity to govern without this distraction," LaLota said.

Other Long Island GOP leaders also continued to criticize Santos but stopped short of calling for him to resign after he defended his actions in media interviews as "embellishing his resume."

Nassau GOP chairman Joseph Cairo said in a statement Tuesday that while Santos “has broken the public trust by making serious misstatements regarding his background,” he should still serve his term in Congress.

“He has a lot of work to do to regain the trust of voters and everyone who he represents in Congress," Cairo said.

Questions also continue to linger about the source of Santos’ income through a private firm and the source of $700,000 he lent to his campaign in his second bid for New York’s Third Congressional District.

Santos, 34, in an interview with the New York Post published Monday admitted that he never graduated from “any institution of higher learning” despite previously touting degrees from Baruch College and New York University.

Santos was forced to defend his background after a Times investigation published last week outlined a number of discrepancies with the biography he touted on the campaign trail of being a college-educated, wealthy business owner whose family owned 13 properties. Public records show there is no record of his family owning property in the area, the Times said, but he has been ordered by the courts to pay $12,000 in unpaid rent for an apartment in Sunnyside, Queens.

Santos, who defeated Democrat Robert Zimmerman in November, also acknowledged to the Post that he never worked directly for Citigroup or Goldman Sachs as he previously claimed on his since-scrubbed campaign website.

“My sins here are embellishing my resume. I’m sorry,” Santos said Monday.

Cairo and others also took issue with Santos’ previous claims that his maternal grandparents were Jews who fled to Brazil from Belgium to escape the Holocaust.

North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jen DeSena, in a statement, said: "I am particularly offended that he would fabricate family history with regard to the Holocaust. Our Jewish neighbors, as well as all of our residents, deserve better. Now, Mr. Santos must be honest and accountable to the public going forward if he truly wants to repair the damage he has caused."

Santos, in a Nov. 22 interview with the Jewish News Syndicate, said his maternal grandfather “fled Stalin’s persecution in Ukraine, finding refuge and a wife in Belgium before escaping Hitler’s reign.” In a campaign video, he described his grandparents as Holocaust survivors.

A report last week by the Jewish Insider, citing a national Brazilian identification database and other genealogical records, suggested his maternal grandparents were born in Brazil.

Santos on Monday told the Post: “I never claimed to be Jewish. I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background, I said I was ‘Jew-ish.'”

Republican Jewish Coalition CEO Matt Brooks in a statement said Santos "deceived us and misrepresented his heritage. In public comments and to us personally, he previously claimed to be Jewish. He has begun his tenure in Congress on a very wrong note. He will not be welcome at any future RJC event."

Incoming Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-Island Park), a former NYPD detective, called on Santos to "pursue a path of honesty."

"Neighbors across Long Island are deeply hurt and rightly offended by the lies and misstatements made by congressman-elect George Santos," D'Esposito said. "His fabrications regarding the Holocaust and his family’s history are particularly hurtful. "

Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R- Bayport), a second-term House member who will become the senior member of the Long Island delegation in January, "is unable to comment at this time" because he is a member of a House ethics subcommittee, said his spokeswoman Kristen Cianci.

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy did not respond to requests for comment.

Zimmerman told Newsday on Tuesday, "If George Santos is in fact his real name, he should resign immediately, because of the frauds he's committed against the voters of the Third Congressional District.”

Zimmerman added that Santos should “run against me in a special election and face the voters about his real past and answer questions about his criminal history. Let the voters decide based upon the truth."

New York Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs, who also chairs the Nassau Democratic Party, continued to call for a full examination of Santos' finances.

Campaign finance records show Santos lent his campaign a total of $700,000. He reported receiving a salary of $750,000 in his federal candidate finance disclosure form this year — a substantial increase from the $5,000 in compensation he reported in 2020. In this year's filing, Santos reported his income stemmed from the Devolder Organization, a private firm registered in Florida which he reported was valued between $1 million and $5 million. He previously stated on his campaign website that the firm was owned by his family and oversaw $80 million in assets, but that assertion has since been deleted from his website.

The company had an estimated value of $43,688, according to a July  analysis conducted by the financial data firm Dun & Bradstreet, that was reviewed by The Washington Post. As a privately held company, Devolder is not required to release public financial reports, but Dun & Bradstreet used "modeling" and "data science" to determine the company's worth, according to the Post.

"I think his larger problem, which he has not yet answered, how was it possible for the information that he has not yet provided for him to have the ability to lend his campaign of $700,000 of his own money?" Jacobs said. "I think that is where his real problems lie. And we need to get to the bottom of that question."

Asked about his experience in the financial sector during an interview on Fox News Tuesday night, Santos said, ""We can have this discussion -- that's going to go way above the American people's head."

WASHINGTON — Two top Long Island Republicans called on the House Ethics Committee to investigate Congressman-elect George Santos a day after the embattled politician conceded in a series of interviews that he had lied about his educational background and work experience.

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman and incoming Rep. Nick LaLota (R-Bay Shore) each told Newsday that congressional investigators should look into Santos' record, which has come into question after a New York Times investigation found a number of holes in the biography he touted on the campaign trail.

"I think that he's entitled to a hearing with the [House] Ethics Committee, and that they should do a thorough investigation to see if he violated any laws or any ethics rules," Blakeman said in an interview. "I think that we have to let the process unfold, which I think will happen fairly swiftly."

LaLota, who is part of the freshman class of legislators set to be sworn in with Santos on Jan. 3, said in a statement to Newsday that he believes a "full investigation by the House Ethics Committee and, if necessary, law enforcement is required."

WHAT TO KNOW

  • Two top Long Island Republicans called on the House Ethics Committee to investigate Congressman-elect George Santos a day after he conceded he had lied about his educational background and work experience.
  • Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman and Congressman-elect Nick LaLota (R-Bay Shore) each told Newsday that congressional investigators should look into Santos' record.
  • Other Long Island GOP leaders also criticized Santos but stopped short of calling for him to resign after he defended his actions in media interviews as "embellishing his resume."

"New Yorkers deserve the truth and House Republicans deserve an opportunity to govern without this distraction," LaLota said.

Other Long Island GOP leaders also continued to criticize Santos but stopped short of calling for him to resign after he defended his actions in media interviews as "embellishing his resume."

Nassau GOP chairman Joseph Cairo said in a statement Tuesday that while Santos “has broken the public trust by making serious misstatements regarding his background,” he should still serve his term in Congress.

“He has a lot of work to do to regain the trust of voters and everyone who he represents in Congress," Cairo said.

Questions also continue to linger about the source of Santos’ income through a private firm and the source of $700,000 he lent to his campaign in his second bid for New York’s Third Congressional District.

Long Island Congressman-elect George Santos has admitted he lied about his education, his work history, as well as other background information. NewsdayTV's Ken Buffa talks to Newsday political reporter Scott Eidler. Credit: Newsday

Santos, 34, in an interview with the New York Post published Monday admitted that he never graduated from “any institution of higher learning” despite previously touting degrees from Baruch College and New York University.

Santos was forced to defend his background after a Times investigation published last week outlined a number of discrepancies with the biography he touted on the campaign trail of being a college-educated, wealthy business owner whose family owned 13 properties. Public records show there is no record of his family owning property in the area, the Times said, but he has been ordered by the courts to pay $12,000 in unpaid rent for an apartment in Sunnyside, Queens.

Santos, who defeated Democrat Robert Zimmerman in November, also acknowledged to the Post that he never worked directly for Citigroup or Goldman Sachs as he previously claimed on his since-scrubbed campaign website.

“My sins here are embellishing my resume. I’m sorry,” Santos said Monday.

Cairo and others also took issue with Santos’ previous claims that his maternal grandparents were Jews who fled to Brazil from Belgium to escape the Holocaust.

North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jen DeSena, in a statement, said: "I am particularly offended that he would fabricate family history with regard to the Holocaust. Our Jewish neighbors, as well as all of our residents, deserve better. Now, Mr. Santos must be honest and accountable to the public going forward if he truly wants to repair the damage he has caused."

Santos, in a Nov. 22 interview with the Jewish News Syndicate, said his maternal grandfather “fled Stalin’s persecution in Ukraine, finding refuge and a wife in Belgium before escaping Hitler’s reign.” In a campaign video, he described his grandparents as Holocaust survivors.

A report last week by the Jewish Insider, citing a national Brazilian identification database and other genealogical records, suggested his maternal grandparents were born in Brazil.

Santos on Monday told the Post: “I never claimed to be Jewish. I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background, I said I was ‘Jew-ish.'”

Republican Jewish Coalition CEO Matt Brooks in a statement said Santos "deceived us and misrepresented his heritage. In public comments and to us personally, he previously claimed to be Jewish. He has begun his tenure in Congress on a very wrong note. He will not be welcome at any future RJC event."

Incoming Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-Island Park), a former NYPD detective, called on Santos to "pursue a path of honesty."

"Neighbors across Long Island are deeply hurt and rightly offended by the lies and misstatements made by congressman-elect George Santos," D'Esposito said. "His fabrications regarding the Holocaust and his family’s history are particularly hurtful. "

Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R- Bayport), a second-term House member who will become the senior member of the Long Island delegation in January, "is unable to comment at this time" because he is a member of a House ethics subcommittee, said his spokeswoman Kristen Cianci.

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy did not respond to requests for comment.

Zimmerman told Newsday on Tuesday, "If George Santos is in fact his real name, he should resign immediately, because of the frauds he's committed against the voters of the Third Congressional District.”

Zimmerman added that Santos should “run against me in a special election and face the voters about his real past and answer questions about his criminal history. Let the voters decide based upon the truth."

New York Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs, who also chairs the Nassau Democratic Party, continued to call for a full examination of Santos' finances.

Campaign finance records show Santos lent his campaign a total of $700,000. He reported receiving a salary of $750,000 in his federal candidate finance disclosure form this year — a substantial increase from the $5,000 in compensation he reported in 2020. In this year's filing, Santos reported his income stemmed from the Devolder Organization, a private firm registered in Florida which he reported was valued between $1 million and $5 million. He previously stated on his campaign website that the firm was owned by his family and oversaw $80 million in assets, but that assertion has since been deleted from his website.

The company had an estimated value of $43,688, according to a July  analysis conducted by the financial data firm Dun & Bradstreet, that was reviewed by The Washington Post. As a privately held company, Devolder is not required to release public financial reports, but Dun & Bradstreet used "modeling" and "data science" to determine the company's worth, according to the Post.

"I think his larger problem, which he has not yet answered, how was it possible for the information that he has not yet provided for him to have the ability to lend his campaign of $700,000 of his own money?" Jacobs said. "I think that is where his real problems lie. And we need to get to the bottom of that question."

Asked about his experience in the financial sector during an interview on Fox News Tuesday night, Santos said, ""We can have this discussion -- that's going to go way above the American people's head."

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