Queens Republican Councilwoman Vickie Paladino released a statement Wednesday expressing disappointment in Congressman-elect George Santos for lying to voters about, among other things, his education and work experience.
Paladino’s statement comes after Santos admitted to the lies following an investigative bombshell report by The New York Times.
“I am deeply disappointed in Congressman-elect Santos and the lies he told his constituents and his friends,” Paladino said. “It was a shock and I am saddened not only because he deceived us all, but because these lies were completely unnecessary. His friends, our party and his constituents would have embraced him regardless of his background and that he felt the need to impress people with fancy credentials is truly disheartening.”
Paladino went on to say that his effort to connect with potential voters was more than enough to help him win the election. She felt he didn’t have to lie about being employed at Citigroup or Goldman Sachs to emerge victorious.
Despite her criticisms, Paladino did not say whether or not she felt Santos should resign his seat.
“Sadly, George has done a great deal of damage to his credibility here and we don’t know what the future holds,” Paladino said. “I hope he has finally come clean and has the opportunity to repair his trust with the community. The truth matters and let this event serve as a lesson for politicians of both parties, that lying about your background is unacceptable.”
Despite admitting to lying about his education and work experience, Santos said he does not intend to resign. However, he now faces the prospect of an investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Many Queens democratic leaders have called Santos to resign, but prior to Santos confirming the allegations as true, many Queens GOP leaders were reluctant to comment before hearing his side of the story. Even after Santos admitted to lying to voters, many Republican leaders in Queens are hesitant to call for his resignation.
Queens County Republican Party President Tony Nunziato told QNS that while he definitely does not approve of Santos lying to voters about his experience, a resignation wouldn’t be necessary. He welcomes an investigation of Santos to ensure he didn’t do anything illegal.
However, Nunziato told QNS that if Santos didn’t break the law, he should be allowed to serve as congressman because he apologized to voters and that while his past may be different, his goals stated during his campaign remain the same.
Paladino represents northeastern Queens in the City Council, with her district covering Auburndale, Bay Terrace, Bayside, Beechhurst, College Point, Douglaston, Flushing, Little Neck, Malba and Whitestone.
Santos is scheduled to take office as Congressman of New York’s third Congressional District in January, succeeding Tom Suozzi. He would represent Little Neck, Whitestone, Glen Oaks, Floral Park and Queens Village, as well as parts of Long Island’s Nassau County.