Representative George Santos, the embattled Long Island House Republican who for weeks has been under fire for falsifying his credentials and background, has been accused of sexual misconduct and an ethics violation by a former prospective staffer.
The accuser, a 30-year-old named Derek Myers, wrote an open letter to the House Committee on Ethics detailing the allegations and requesting an investigation into the matter. In the letter, which has been publicly shared on Twitter, Myers claimed that he had been put to work in Santos’ office as a volunteer, which is in direct violation of ethics rules. He also outlined the alleged sexual harassment that occurred on January 25th.
On that day, according to Myers, Santos asked the former staffer if he had a profile on Grindr, a popular LGBT+ dating app used primarily for sexual encounters, before revealing that he had one himself. Later that day, Myers wrote that he was alone with Santos in his office reviewing mail from constituents when the freshman congressman “insisted I sit next to him on a small sofa.” Myers then alleges that Santos touched his leg and invited him out for karaoke.
“I kindly declined the invitation by telling the Congressman I was not a fan of clubs and bars and that I was not a good singer”, Myers wrote. [Santos] proceeded to take his hand and move it down my leg into my inner-thigh and proceeded to touch my groin. He proceeded to look at me and say, ‘My husband is out of town tonight if you want to come over’ and went on to tell me where [he] lived. I quickly pushed the Congressman’s hand away and grabbed the mail from the table […]”
Myers then wrote that days later, “I was questioned about matters that had already been disclosed in my conversations with hiring managers from the Congressman’s office prior to my job offer. On Wednesday, Feb. 1, I was informed that my job offer was being rescinded.”
In the Twitter thread in which the letter was shared, Myers wrote that he was sharing the letter for transparency purposes. “These matters will not be litigated on social media or through news media. They are serious offenses and the evidence and facts will speak for themselves if the committee takes up the matter. This tweet is being made public in light of transparency.”
Myers came to work in Santos’ office from Ohio, where he had previously worked as a local news reporter. He was charged with wiretapping last fall after publishing audio recorded by a source in a courtroom. While journalism advocacy groups have urged prosecutors to drop the charges, the case is ongoing.
“We know that the hiring managers and senior staff were aware of my history as a journalist and the 2022 controversy, which is what the Congressman cited as the reason to let me go,” Myers told CBS News in a recent interview. “He claims this fully-disclosed 2022 chapter in my previous job was the reason for my dismissal, despite it being disclosed before an offer was made in the interview phase.”
When asked in that interview if his dismissal from Santos’ office was an act of retaliation against the alleged sexual misconduct, Myers said, “Unfortunately, I have no evidence to support the true motive. The timing certainly raises the prospect of the answer being ‘yes.'”
On Monday, Santos told CNN reporters he “100%” denies the allegations brought forth by Myers and dismissed the claims as “comical.” “Of course, I deny the claim,” he said in a brief interview.
The accusation comes amid a growing list of political and legal controversies facing Santos.
The New York Republican, who was elected in November, has been called on by both parties to resign over fabricated claims about his past, including his personal identity, work history, education, and other credentials. There is also an ongoing FBI investigation into Santos’ finances in connection with questions over his federal campaign filings.