NY War Room: ICYMI – Rep. Nick LaLota Receives Ethics Complaint
June 29, 2023
New York, NY – In case you missed it, vulnerable House Republican Nick LaLota neglected to disclose significant assets and information in his 2022 financial disclosure, as discovered by End Citizens United and reported by Newsday.
LaLota notably left out information regarding his consulting firm, client list, and various assets held by him and his spouse.
“Nick LaLota’s incomplete financial disclosure shows nothing but disregard and disrespect to the people of New York’s 1st District,” HMP New York Press Secretary Alisha Heng said. “New Yorkers deserve better than someone who cannot be bothered to disclose potential conflicts of interest. HMP will ensure he is voted out in 2024.”
Read the full piece below.
Rep. Nick LaLota did not file legally required information about his consulting firm and its assets in his 2022 financial disclosure report, according to an advocacy group’s complaint filed Monday with the Office of Congressional Ethics.
The report filed by LaLota (R-Amityville) last July as a House candidate did not disclose the assets and a list of clients of his business, the 495 Consulting Group LLC, as required by law, according to End Citizens United, an advocacy group aligned with Democrats.
The first-term congressman also did not include his or his spouse’s assets, their retirement assets, and omitted complete information about their retirement plan and his Suffolk County Deferred Compensation Plan, the complaint said.
“We urge the OCE to investigate his financial disclosure reports and hold him accountable,” End Citizens United president Tiffany Muller said in a statement.
LaLota’s spokesman Will Kiley said, “the complaint isn’t worth the paper on which it’s written.”
Kiley said “the LLC to which it refers has been defunct for years and the investments in question are all generic mutual funds authorized by a Suffolk County public school district.”
The consulting group last advised Putnam County District Attorney Robert Tendy in his 2019 campaign, according to state campaign finance records.
“When the Congressman timely files his report in a few weeks, Long Islanders will see that he sold all his stocks before being sworn in — holding himself to a much higher standard than required by law,” Kiley said.
Candidates and elected U.S. House members must file annual financial disclosure reports with the House Ethics Committee to allow voters to determine if there is a potential conflict of interest, according to the Ethics in Government Act.
A Newsday story on Monday reported that missing, late and allegedly fabricated filings by Rep. George Santos (R-Nassau/Queens) exposed the cracks in the financial disclosure system. Newsday reported that a third of candidates for House seats in New York last year failed to file a disclosure report, and those who do file often make mistakes and errors.
End Citizens United filed the complaint about LaLota with the Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent agency that investigates allegations of member and staff misconduct and if warranted refers matters to the House Ethics Committee.
“Looks like a valid complaint documenting that there were significant omissions from Rep. LaLota’s financial disclosure report,” Washington attorney Brett Kappel, who specializes in campaign finance and ethics law, said in an email.
On his financial disclosure report, LaLota listed himself as the owner of the consulting firm. New York State corporate records website show LaLota created 495 Consulting Group LLC in 2013 and lists it as active.
Candidates must disclose any clients who paid fees to their businesses in excess of $5,000 during the two years before the date they filed to run for office, according to the law.
The Ethics Committee does not penalize errors on disclosures unless it determines the filer acted in a knowing and willful manner, Kappel said.
In April, End Citizens United filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission that said LaLota had transferred $1,000 from his state campaign funds to his federal campaign funds in violation of federal election law. The FEC has not posted a response to the complaint.