Mineola mayor says Long Island residents 'feel betrayed' by George Santos

Chanteé Lans Image
Friday, February 3, 2023
Residents 'feel betrayed' by Congressman Santos: Mineola mayor
Mineola Mayor Paul Pereira says people that he's spoken to feel betrayed by New York Congressman George Santos amid his campaign lies. Chantee Lans has the story.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- As the truckload of scandalous allegations continue against New York Congressman George Santos, a mayor in his Long Island district says people "feel betrayed."

In Long Island's District 3, Mineola Mayor Paul Pereira says Santos has done nothing.

"The people that I've spoken to feel betrayed, and they feel as if they did not get the representation that they voted for or that they were expecting," Pereira said.

He said he received an email from Santos' team, offering him and other Long Island mayors help.

"I do think it's a little bit disingenuous at this point because it's essentially to prove a point that he's reaching out," Pereira said.

He said he's not meeting with Rep. Santos.

"My 21,000 residents have issues that could deal with anything from immigration to adoption, custody, issues that we can't help them at the local level," Pereira said.

Meanwhile, the FBI has contacted a Navy veteran, Richard Osthoff, as part of an investigation into embattled Rep. Santos and a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Osthoff's sick service dog.

The FBI has contacted a Navy veteran, Richard Osthoff, as part of an investigation into embattled Rep. George Santos and a GoFundMe campaign.

Osthoff confirmed the call from the FBI, and sources familiar with the matter confirmed the nature of the investigation -- which adds to the growing list of legal issues and controversies Santos is facing.

Osthoff told ABC News that Santos did not come through with the money and ignored text messages about it. Osthoff says his dog, Sapphire, ultimately died from her condition.

"I don't ever want to see another person, especially another veteran, go through this again," Osthoff said.

On Wednesday, Santos denied any wrongdoing.

He told ABC News that he was unaware of the FBI probe and said of Osthoff, "I have no recollection of ever meeting him." Osthoff previously provided a local news outlet with texts that he said were between him and Santos.

When asked if he was worried about being prosecuted, Santos responded, "I have no clue, I don't know what it's about."

The freshman Republican representative also exchanged words on Twitter with Bronx Congressman Ritchie Torres over another investigation, accusing Santos of running a Ponzi scheme that defrauded more than 100 investors out of more than $17 million.

Santos is already under investigation by federal and state prosecutors over possible misused campaign finances.

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

Over in Queens, rallies continued outside of Santos' district office.

"It is outrageous that we continue to stand here, that Tom Suozzi's name continues to be on the awning," Nassau County legislator Josh Lafazan said.

He says his message to Santos is to resign.


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* More New York City news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.