A former prospective aide to Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., is accusing the embattled congressman of sexual harassment.
What You Need To Know
- A former prospective aide to Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., is accusing the embattled congressman of sexual harassment
- Derek Myers on Friday posted a letter on Twitter that he wrote to the House Ethics Committee requesting the probe and said he also filed a report with U.S. Capitol Police
- Myers also wants the committee to look into whether Santos’ office violated ethics rules by having him perform unpaid work “with the promise of employment"
- Santos’ office directed questions Monday about the allegations to the congressman’s attorney, Joe Murray, who declined to comment
Derek Myers on Friday posted a letter on Twitter that he wrote to the House Ethics Committee requesting the probe. He said he also filed a report with U.S. Capitol Police.
In his letter to the House panel, Myers wrote he was offered a job Jan. 23 as a staff assistant handling correspondence with Santos’ constituents. He said that a day later he was given a desk, began performing tasks and was told his title would be “volunteer” while his hiring paperwork was being processed, which was expected to take about a week.
Myers claims he was alone with Santos in his personal office on Jan. 25 when the freshman congressman asked him if he had a profile on the popular gay dating app Grindr and then put his hand on Myers’ leg and invited him out for karaoke. According to Myers, after he declined the invitation, Santos moved his hand to the prospective aide’s groin and said, “My husband is out of town tonight if you want to come over.”
Myers said on Jan. 30, he was called into Santos’ office and asked about an incident from his past job as a journalist, which Myers says he had previously discussed with Santos’ hiring managers. Last year, the Pike County sheriff’s office in Ohio charged Myers with wiretapping after the small newspaper he ran published audio of courtroom testimony that he said he received from a source. A number of journalism organizations have publicly defended Myers and called for the charges to be dropped.
Myers said on Feb. 2, he was informed his job offer was being rescinded.
In his letter, Myers asks the Ethics Committee to investigate his sexual harassment claim as well as whether Santos’ office violated House ethics rules by having him perform unpaid work “with the promise of employment.”
"They are serious offenses and the evidence and facts will speak for themselves if the committee takes up the matter," Myers wrote on Twitter.
Santos’ office directed questions Monday about the allegations to the congressman’s attorney, Joe Murray, who declined to comment.
Santos told Semafor last week he asked Myers to explain what happened in the Ohio incident and that he decided not to proceed with hiring him because he found his answers “evasive.”
In a Feb. 2 statement, Myers acknowledged Santos had concerns about the his past, especially in light of his own scandals.
“Once the Congressman learned of the 2022 issue several days after my offer and after I had been working in his office, he became paranoid and concerned about having me around,” Myers said. “He worried about ‘a media firestorm and liability.’”
Santos has admitted to lying about major aspects of his biography, including his education and work history, but he has resisted calls to resign. Last week, however, he announced he was temporarily stepping down from two congressional committees until his issues have been resolved.
Federal and local prosecutors are investigating whether Santos committed any crimes involving his finances or lies on the campaign trail, according to multiple reports and the Nassau County, New York, district attorney’s office. Last month, a nonpartisan watchdog group filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging Santos violated multiple campaign finance laws.
Meanwhile, a Navy veteran said last week the FBI has spoken to him about his allegations that Santos raised $3,000 for life-saving surgery for his dog but never handed over the money. And prosecutors in Brazil announced last month they intend to revive a 15-year-old check fraud case against Santos. The case had been suspended because police there were unable to locate him.