A former prospective staffer to Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) has accused him of sexual harassment and committing a House ethics violation, saying Santos inappropriately touched him in his office and rescinded a job offer when the man rebuffed him.
Derek Myers announced Friday that he has filed complaints with U.S. Capitol Police and the House ethics committee against the scandal-plagued congressman after briefly working in Santos’ office last month under the title of “volunteer.”
Since his election last year, Santos continues to face separate federal, local and international investigations following revelations that he lied extensively about his background on the campaign trail.
Myers alleges that two days into starting his role, which he said he was told would be a paid position, Santos asked him while they were alone in his office if he had a profile on the dating app Grindr. He said Santos then groped him while they were sitting on a sofa, with the congressman allegedly placing his hand on Myers’ leg and moving it to his groin.
Myers said Santos invited him to come back to his house that night, adding that his husband was out of town. Myers said he rebuffed the offer, and that two days later, he was called into the congressman’s office and his job offer was withdrawn.
“I am requesting an investigation into the sexual harassment of [Congressman] Santos, as well as his violation of House Ethics rules on volunteering in the workplace by having staff offload work onto the volunteer with the promise of employment,” Myers said.
Santos’ communications director referred questions to his attorney, Joe Murray, who declined to comment. Tom Rust, the ethics committee’s chief counsel and staff director, also declined to comment to HuffPost on Monday. U.S. Capitol police did not respond to messages requesting confirmation about the police report’s filing.
Myers said Santos’ office, in explaining its decision not to hire him, cited his 2022 arrest for wiretapping while working as the editor-in-chief of an Ohio news website. (The case is ongoing, though journalism organizations have called for the charge, a fourth-degree felony, to be dropped.)
Myers said he was told that his arrest, for allegedly illegally publishing courtroom audio, could create “a media firestorm and liability.” However, he argued that his arrest had already been disclosed and discussed before he’d received his job offer.
In a separate statement, released prior to his harassment and ethics allegations, Myers said that he asked Santos to reconsider his decision not to hire him. He also offered praise for the other staffers amid the scrutiny of Santos and his election campaign, which Myers said has left their boss “arguably distracted.”
Myers claims he secretly recorded his final meeting with Santos, and supplied Talking Points Memo with what he said is the audio. According to TPM, the recording includes a moment where Santos admits to lying to one of his staffers “like I lied to everyone else.”
Santos “feels terrible about lying, he feels terrible that he got caught,” Myers told TPM.
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.