Ex-George Santos staff member discusses decision to resign

Chanteé Lans Image
Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Ex-George Santos staff member discusses decision to resign
Mario Nicoletto discussed his decision to resign as a staff member for Santos. Chantee Lans has more.

NASSAU COUNTY (WABC) -- For the first time, Mario Nicoletto discussed his decision to resign as a Queens District Office Staff Member for embattled Congressman George Santos.

"He was never, never like this. He was always a stoic guy," said Nicoletto.

The 22-year-old says he first met Santos in 2020 at a fundraiser on Long Island.

Nicoletto says Santos gave him his card and they corresponded for a year. Nicoletto says he was working for the RNC before signing on with Santos.

The New York Times article revealing that Santos lied about his resume, education, and family heritage was published on December 19 - Nicoletto's birthday.

ALSO READ | The saga of Rep. George Santos: Inside his many fabrications, exaggerations, and embellishments

"I signed up to work for the people. I signed up to work for New York's third congressional district where I grew up. I could've never expected this. This is not what I wanted. It's not what I signed up for as they say. It's very depressing to be honest. It's very sad," Nicoletto said.

Protests and rallies were held for Santos to resign.

The Douglaston, Queens District Office was vandalized. Although Nicoletto says he received threats, he says the decision to step away was difficult.

"I can't say that I consider him a friend anymore. It's unfortunate, it really is, but when somebody does that to north of 700,000 people, I mean 72% of the district want him out. It's unprecedented, it's insane and I think as allegations and documents came out, it didn't bode well for the congressman, obviously. I had to take a step away and that's a decision I made for my family, myself and my community and friends," added Nicoletto.

Eyewitness News reporter Chanteel Lans also asked Nicoletto about where he thinks the hundreds of thousands of dollars came from in Congressman Santos' campaign. He says he has no idea.

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