Ethics to investigate Guam delegate over alleged sexual relationship with staff member

Ethics to investigate Guam delegate over alleged sexual relationship with staff member
© Courtesy photo

The House Ethics Committee announced on Thursday that it has launched an investigation into whether Guam's delegate in Congress, Michael San Nicolas, broke the chamber's rules by having a sexual relationship with a member of his congressional staff.

The Ethics panel is also investigating whether San Nicolas converted campaign funds to personal use and accepted improper campaign contributions.


The announcement comes a day after the committee said it is investigating freshman Rep. Katie HillKatherine (Katie) Lauren HillDCCC unveils initial dozen candidates for 'Red to Blue' program Veronica Escobar to give Spanish-language response to Trump State of the Union address California Democrat Christy Smith launches first TV ad in bid for Katie Hill's former House seat MORE (D-Calif.) for having a sexual relationship with her legislative director in violation of House rules. Hill has denied the allegations, but did acknowledge having an extramarital relationship with a female campaign staffer.

House rules adopted last year after the "Me Too" movement ban lawmakers and nonvoting delegates from having sexual relationships with any staffers who work in their offices or the committees on which they serve. That includes prospective job applicants, interns and people participating in fellowship programs. 
The rules do not apply to lawmakers having sexual relationships with campaign aides.

The House rules also prohibit lawmakers, delegates, officers or staffers from engaging in "unwelcome sexual advances or conduct" toward each other.

The office of San Nicolas, who has been serving as Guam's non-voting delegate since January, did not immediately return a request for comment.

According to the Pacific Daily News, the former chief of staff to San Nicolas alleged that campaign funds were used to reimburse the delegate and a woman with whom he was having an affair when they traveled to resorts in Guam and the Philippines. The former chief of staff, John Paul Manuel, alleged that San Nicolas hired his mistress to serve on his congressional staff.

San Nicolas dismissed the allegations during an interview last month.

"There comes a time and place where we are not going to be entertaining things unless there is a legal basis to be entertaining it. So, if anybody thinks that I am having an extramarital affair with a staffer, and that's against the rules, then file the complaint," San Nicolas said during an interview on The Point with Ray Gibson.

San Nicolas added that he would not answer questions about his personal life "unless someone is going to be balls enough to step up to the plate and make an accusation on the record."

In a joint statement announcing the investigation, House Ethics Committee Chairman Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchDemocrats offer mixed reactions to Trump's Mideast peace plan US officials, world leaders arrive in Israel for World Holocaust Forum  Bipartisan lawmakers condemn Iran, dispute State Department on number of protesters killed MORE (D-Fla.) and the panel's ranking Republican, Rep. Kenny MarchantKenny Ewell MarchantHouse GOP wants Senate Republicans to do more on impeachment Ethics sends memo to lawmakers on SCIF etiquette Ethics panel investigating Rep. Hastings over relationship with staffer MORE (Texas), said 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."