Beleaguered freshman congressman Rep. George Santos has been accused of sexual harassment and violating House ethics rules by a former prospective staff assistant. On January 23, Derek Myers was offered a job as a staff assistant while working as an unpaid volunteer. Santos told Myers he would be performing staff duties, but his title would still be volunteer until the onboarding paperwork was processed. On January 25, two days after the job offer, Myers claims that the Republican congressman asked him if he had a Grindr account—a dating app used by gay men—and told him that he had an account.
Myers also claims that while they were working alone in the congressional office, Santos told Myers to sit next to him on a small couch and proceeded to invite him to karaoke later that night. After Myers declined his invitation, the Congressman touched his groin and said his husband was out of town. Myers proceeded to push him away and returned to the matter that was being discussed before the incident. Myers claims that his termination right after this incident was because he rebuffed Santos’ sexual advances. Santos denies the allegations and simply dismissed them as comical.
On January 30, Rep. Santos began to question Myers over his past employment history and then let him know that his job offer was rescinded on February 1. Santos claims that he rescinded Myers job offer after researching his past as a journalist and finding out about a felony charge that occurred last year in Ohio. Myers was accused of wiretapping after his news website posted audio leaks regarding a murder trial. He pleaded not guilty and after 60 days the case was dismissed under Ohio’s criminal rules of procedure since no indictment was brought. Myers stated that the information had been discussed with hiring managers during the process of submitting his application for staff assistant.
Myers complained to the House Ethics committee. He also mentioned Santos’ promise of employment and compensation that ended up in Myers being released after working without compensation. “I have learned that such volunteer work within a Congressional office without the correct procedures being followed is a violation of House Ethics,” wrote Myers in a letter to the house committee that was also published on twitter.
Myers expressed his intentions when asked why work for George Santos. He mentioned that not a lot of people want to work with the freshman congressman. However, he states that the people of New York’s 3rd congressional district are deserving of quality representation and for that to happen their representative must have a staff member willing to do all the work.
Rep. Santos has been previously accused of lying about his religion, that his mom died on September 11, claiming to have graduated from Baruch College and being on the volleyball team, having an MBA from NYU, working at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, and owning numerous properties and companies. He has admitted to lying on certain parts of his resume but simply downplayed the situation as “embellishing.” Santos has been called on to resign by Republicans and Democrats in Congress and various New York State Republicans. He is under investigation at the local, state, and federal levels for financial and ethical issues regarding his campaign, personal and professional matters, and is now being investigated by the House Ethics Committee for the sexual misconduct complaints.