ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — New lawmakers were sworn into office and took their seats Wednesday at the State Capitol. Among those lawmakers was Assemblymember-elect, Lester Chang whose residency requirements have come into question. All this happening after he narrowly beat longtime incumbent Peter Abbate in Brooklyn.

The Republican calls himself a “Brooklynite.” The retired Navy reservist would be the first Asian- American to represent Brooklyn in the state Assembly, but Democratic lawmakers say Chang resided in Manhattan before the election. Christopher Bopst, partner at Wilder & Linneball explained why this is problematic. “It’s the first election after a redistricting, Mr. Chang is not required to reside within his physical district but he is required to reside within the county in which the district lies.” Which would be Kings County and Chang would have had to reside in the county one year prior to the election. After the Assembly Majority met for a private conference on Tuesday, there was still no consensus. However, Chang did take his seat in the Assembly chamber.

In a statement, Michael Whyland, a spokesperson for the NYS Assembly Majority said: “Lester Chang was elected and by operation of law the term began on January 1. The Judiciary Committee report raised several concerns, and we are still discussing with our members his qualifications to serve.” According to the report the Committee requested Chang provide  them with utility, cell phone, insurance, employment records and more. In part, the 156-page document reads: “Mr. Chang initially registered to vote on 5/4/94 in New York County and transferred his registration to Kings County on 2/18/22.” It also read, “Mr. Chang voted from his address in New York County on 31 consecutive occasions until the two dates he voted from Kings County in 2022.”

Bopst said the fact that residency questions are being brought up post election is unprofessional and makes the public distrust the government. “After the voters have spoken, one party in power says ‘Well this candidate didn’t live up to the rules so therefore he or she isn’t gonna be your representative after that election.'”

Chang is the second New York politician to come under scrutiny after winning an election. Congressman-elect, George Santos admitted to lying about having a Jewish heritage, having a college degree and that he worked for Wall Street banks. All of this was revealed after the people chose him for New York’s third Congressional District. We still don’t his political future holds.