Lawmakers Form Group to Probe Delegate San Nicolas Over Alleged Sexual Relationship

House Ethics Committee drops probe into Rep. Alcee Hastings
June 13, 2020 Updated: June 13, 2020

The House Ethics Committee unanimously voted to form a group to probe Michael F.Q. San Nicolas, a delegate representing Guam, over an alleged sexual relationship he had with a staff member.

San Nicolas, a Democrat, is also accused of using campaign funds for personal expenses, accepting improper and/or excessive campaign contributions, reporting illegitimate campaign disbursements, omitting required information from reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, and making false statements to government investigators or agencies.

Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) will head the Investigative Subcommittee looking into the allegations.

Reps. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), and Darren Soto (D-Fla.) are the other members of the group.

“No other public comment will be made on this matter except in accordance with Committee rules,” the House Ethics Committee stated in a press release.

In a statement in October 2019, Chairman Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) and Ranking Member Kenny Marchant (R-Texas) said they became aware of public allegations that San Nicolas “may have engaged in a sexual relationship with an individual on his congressional staff, converted campaign funds to personal use, and/or accepted improper or excessive campaign contributions.”

Nicolas, 39, won his first term in office in 2018, defeating Republican candidate Doris Flores Brooks by nearly 4,000 votes.

John Paul Manuel, who ran San Nicolas’ campaign, told CQ Roll Call that he informed congressional investigators of $10,000 in unreported cash that San Nicolas accepted from Andrew Park, a businessman who heads the Guam Korean Chamber of Commerce.

Manuel also said he told investigators that San Nicolas, who is married, had an affair with Jennifer Winn, who works on the lawmaker’s staff.

“He just operates like he can get away [with it] and so far he has gotten away with it,” Manuel said. “They’ve been very good at trying to cover their tracks.”

A voicemail was left at the delegate’s office Saturday morning.

In an emailed statement to Roll Call, San Nicolas said: “This is just a part of the process that we are required to go through in order to disprove the allegations made against us. We will continue to cooperate and thank the people for their patience and support during this time.”

Epoch Times Photo
Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) speaks during a House Rules Committee hearing on the impeachment against President Donald Trump in Washington on Dec. 17, 2019. (Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/Getty Images)

Hastings Probe Dropped

The House Ethics Committee on Friday also said it was dropping a probe into Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.).

The committee launched an investigation over allegations that Hastings had a personal relationship with a woman who worked for him.

“During its review, the Committee became aware that Representative Hastings has been married to the individual employed in his congressional office since January 2019. Accordingly, Representative Hastings is not in violation of House Rule XXIII, clause 18(a), as its terms do not apply to relationships between two people who are married to each other, nor is he in violation of the House Gift Rule, which permits Members to accept gifts from relatives,” the committee stated.

Members did review Hastings’ conduct prior to his marriage and considered whether the lawmaker complied with laws and rules relating to nepotism.

But the committee ultimately determined to take no further action.

The House of Representatives passed a rule in February 2018 barring lawmakers from engaging in sexual relationships “with any employee of the House who works under the supervision of the” lawmaker, or who works on a committee on which the lawmaker serves.

“This paragraph does not apply with respect to any relationship between two people who are married to each other,” according to the law.

Hastings, 83, admitted to being in a relationship with Patricia Williams, a disbarred lawyer. She’s worked on his staff since at least 2000, earning nearly $3 million in taxpayer funds for her salary.

Williams represented Hastings in the 1980s when he was impeached and removed as a U.S. District Court judge.

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