Both CD-3 special election candidates filed financial summaries with the Federal Election Commission.
A political action committee has requested that the Department of Justice (DOJ) expedite its investigation into Mazi Pilip, just a week before a special election is set to determine whether voters want her to represent Congressional District 3, which spans Nassau County and part of Eastern Queens.
End Citizens United alleges that Ms. Pilip violated the Ethics in Government Act by omitting information from her federal personal financial disclosure (PFD) statement, information that had previously been disclosed locally in nonpublic financial disclosure reports to the Nassau County Board of Ethics.
Ms. Pilip is campaigning as a Republican against Democrat candidate Tom Suozzi in the Feb. 13 special election to replace expelled GOP Rep. George Santos.
“Pilip’s County PFDs indicate that she held an investment property worth more than $5,000 during the reporting period,” wrote Tiffany Muller, president of End Citizens United in the complaint. “However, Pilip failed to report this property on her Federal PFD in apparent violation of the Act.”
The Jan. 30 letter was addressed to Corey Amundson who is chief of the Public Integrity Section in the DOJ’s criminal division.
Mr. Amundson did not respond to requests for comment.
The Ethics in Government Act requires congressional candidates to disclose any unearned income exceeding $1,000 for themselves and their spouse, as well as any earned income totaling more than $1,000 from a single source for a candidate’s spouse.
Trump Attorney Defends Mazi Pilip
John P. Coale, a Washington attorney who advises President Donald Trump legally, said Ms. Pilip is merely experiencing a dose of what President Trump has endured.
“The left will do anything at any time to muddy the waters in elections,” Mr. Coale told The Epoch Times. “The right isn’t totally innocent, but nowadays it’s more the left doing anything they possibly can think of to muddy the waters or attack the opposition.”
The complaint also alleges that Ms. Pilip failed to report investments in a securities brokerage account, a co-op investment property, and any of her husband Dr. Adalbert Pilip’s earned income. Mr. Pilip is a cardiologist.
Election Attorney Doubts DOJ Will Investigate
At worst, the DOJ will send Ms. Pilip a letter requesting an explanation but is unlikely to investigate, according to Steven R. Schlesinger, a Nassau County attorney who represents Democrat and Republican candidates in various election issues, including campaign finance.
“My understanding is that the Pilips bought an apartment for her husband’s parents to live in and that to me is not major,” Mr. Schlesinger told The Epoch Times. “The fact she got some money from her husband’s medical practice was reasonably disclosed depending on the year. I hate to hang up people based upon technical claims that amount to near oversights or errors.”
Neither Ms. Pilip nor End Citizens United responded to requests for comment.
End Citizens United further accuses Ms. Pilip of denying voters the opportunity to fully assess her fitness to serve but Mr. Coale said the omissions are minor mistakes and easily curable.
“If she had never disclosed, that would be one thing but she disclosed it in her earlier filing,” he said. “There’s definitely no real criminal intent here. If I were her attorney, I’d tell the DOJ it was a mistake and correct it.”
Democrat Party Chair’s Summer Camp Companies Disclosed
Although Mr. Suozzi is not the target of a complaint requesting a DOJ investigation, he reported information about his finances to the House clerk’s office that Mr. Schlesinger determined “doesn’t look good but isn’t illegal.”
For example, summer camp companies and properties owned by Nassau County Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs are allegedly minorly owned by Mr. Suozzi.
However, Mr. Jacobs said the investment was initially made by Mr. Suozzi’s father.
“It was reported when it first happened,” Mr. Jacobs told The Epoch Times. “The difference is that Mazi Pilip has really not been forthcoming with financial information where Tom Suozzi has.”
Mr. Suozzi’s congressional campaign reportedly paid rent to Mr. Suozzi three years ago through his company Ruvo Realty LLC, which owns office space in Glen Cove.
Mr. Jacobs said the information was listed in Mr. Suozzi’s public filings and never hidden.
“I believe that’s within the rules of ethics and the House, and it’s been reported,” he said.
Both Ms. Pilip and Mr. Suozzi filed their financial summaries with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) for fundraising that occurred between Dec. 1, 2023, and Jan. 24, 2024.
Tom Suozzi Is Leading Financially and in the Polls
Ms. Pilip reported $1.3 million in total receipts and $628,561 in cash on hand compared to Mr. Suozzi’s $4.5 million in total receipts and $2.2 million in cash on hand.
“He has gotten a lot of support,” Mr. Jacobs said in an interview. “I think at the end of the day the results will speak for themselves. I would rather be in our position than their position right now and I hope I can say the same thing on Valentine’s Day.”
When asked how the money might be spent, Mr. Jacobs said advertisements are likely a priority.
So far, a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) promo has depicted Ms. Pilip as a member of the Republican Party’s extreme wing, which seeks to ban abortion even in cases of rape and incest. The GOP’s Congressional Leadership Fund has accused Mr. Suozzi of weakening the borders during his previous tenure in the seat.
“My expectation is that the campaign will be spending as much as it needs to continue being up on the air,” Mr. Jacobs said. “One of the lessons all candidates should learn, and we have certainly learned, is that you only worry about the election you’re in at the moment, and don’t worry about the next week.”
Mr. Suozzi is also leading in the polls although it is a close race.
A survey conducted by PIX11/Emerson College, released on Jan. 18, determined that Mr. Suozzi garnered the approval of 45% of respondents, while Ms. Pilip collected the support of 42%. Nine percent were undecided.
Among likely voters, Mr. Jacob said the spread is wider in favor of Mr. Suozzi.
“We take nothing for granted,” he added. “I can’t speak about internal polling but we think this will be a close race. It’s all about turnout.”
The New York GOP did not reply to requests for comment.