The embattled congressman cycled through several treasurers in recent months as his campaign’s finances were investigated, at one point listing someone who later denied agreeing to take on the role. The treasurer identified on his records until Friday’s changes, Andrew Olson, did not respond to a request for comment.
The change was a reminder of Santos’ growing isolation. It came as the law firm that assisted the New York congressman on cases before the FEC and the House Ethics Committee dropped him as a client, according to people familiar with the situation, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case. During the last election cycle, his main campaign committee paid that firm, Dickinson Wright, about $40,000 for consulting and compliance services, according to filings.
A Dickinson Wright spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Santos did not respond to a text message seeking comment. The congressman’s communications director resigned this week.
People familiar with the situation said they were unsure how Santos would handle cases before the FEC or House Ethics without counsel. He has a separate attorney representing him in the federal criminal case in the Eastern District of New York, who also did not respond to a request for comment.
Extensive complaints filed by watchdog groups with the FEC earlier this year accused Santos of misrepresenting campaign expenses and using campaign resources to cover personal expenses, among other allegations. In January, the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section asked the FEC to delay any enforcement action against Santos, suggesting that prosecutors were looking into overlapping issues.
Last week’s indictment accused Santos of misappropriating donor money for his personal gain and lying on personal financial disclosure forms submitted to Congress, among other alleged misdeeds. Inconsistencies with his campaign’s filings with the FEC did not figure in the charges, although legal experts said prosecutors could make additional allegations as the case progresses.
Meanwhile, FEC analysts have continued to inquire of his various committees about errors and omissions in filings. Answering these requests will now fall to Santos as Treasurer.