A prospective congressional aide has accused Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., of ethics violations and sexual harassment, according to a letter the man sent to the House Committee on Ethics and posted to Twitter on Friday.
The man, Derek Myers, briefly worked in Santos’ office before his job offer was rescinded earlier this week, according to the letter.
Myers said in the letter that he was alone with Santos in his office on Jan. 25 when the congressman asked him whether he had a profile on Grindr, a popular gay dating app. Then, he said, Santos invited him to karaoke and touched his groin, assuring him that his husband was out of town.
Myers’ account could not be corroborated, but a spokesperson for Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa., ranking member of the House Ethics Committee, acknowledged that his letter had been received by her office.
Myers said in an interview that he also filed a report with the Capitol Police, speaking to an officer over the phone. On Twitter, he said that he was making his complaint public for the sake of transparency.
“They are serious offenses and the evidence and facts will speak for themselves if the committee takes up the matter,” he wrote.
A day before making his complaint public, Myers received attention following the release of recordings he had secretly made of Santos and his chief of staff, Charley Lovett.
Myers was charged last year with wiretapping in Ohio, after a small newspaper he ran published audio of courtroom testimony that someone else recorded and sent to him. Journalism organizations rallied around him, calling for the charges to be dropped in the name of press freedom.
Santos told the news startup Semafor on Thursday that his office had been in the process of hiring Myers, but had decided against it because of concerns over the wiretapping charges. Lovett confirmed the same to Talking Points Memo, a liberal website.
Santos is the subject of numerous investigations into his business and campaign finances. Santos’ communications director did not respond to requests for a response, directing the matter to his personal lawyer. His lawyer declined to comment on Myers’ allegations.
Myers claimed that the alleged harassment occurred five days before he secretly recorded Santos. In that conversation, audio of which was published by Talking Points Memo, Myers declared his fealty to Santos, telling him, “We’re all George, this is how we got here. We’re just masters of the game.”
At another point, Myers says on the recording, “I will never lie to you guys. I have no reason to. But I will lie for you.”
“You shouldn’t,” Santos replies.
In his letter to the Ethics Committee, Myers said that he was told he would work in Santos’ office as a volunteer before his employment paperwork was processed.
He said in the letter that he now believed that such an arrangement violated the House’s ethics rules, and he asked the committee to investigate Santos for his use of volunteer labor as well as for sexual harassment.
It is unclear how the Ethics Committee will proceed. Tom Rust, the committee’s chief counsel and staff director, declined to comment, and the spokesperson for Wild said that the congresswoman would not “make comments regarding potential or pending matters before the committee.”
The Capitol Police did not respond to messages requesting confirmation that Myers had filed a report.