Fired Santos Staffer Says He Got Job After Sending Money to Lawmaker’s Deputy

June 1, 2023

Derek Myers, former aide to embattled Rep. George Santos (R-NY), said he was hired after sending a series of payments to one of the lawmaker’s deputies.

The House Ethics Committee is including allegations of sexual harassment that 31-year-old Myers made against Santos in February in its investigation into the 34-year-old freshman Congress member’s actions.

Myers on Wednesday told the Ethics Committee that in January, as he was trying to get a job in Santos’ congressional office, he sent seven payments of $150 apiece to Santos’ Director of Operations Vish Burra. 

The fired staffer shared details about the payments, including receipts and text messages, with the Associated Press. He said the money had not been requested by Burra, but he sent it on his own in part because he believed they money might help him secure the job.

House investigators questioned Myers about the payments as part of their investigation into his allegations of sexual harassment by Santos. A former journalist, Myers lasted just a week on the job in Santos’ office before he was fired. At the time, Santos claimed that Myers’ previous history of wiretapping was cause for rescinding the job offer. 

In February Meyers sent a letter to the Ethics Committee claiming he was ousted after he rejected Santos’ sexual advances, which he said included groping, while they were alone in the lawmaker’s office. 

Santos has denied that allegation, calling it “comical.” 

Last month Santos pleaded not guilty to 13 criminal counts at federal court in New York’s Eastern District. The charges include seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds, and two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives.

In early March, the Ethics Committee had initiated a special legislative subcommittee to look into “whether Representative George Santos may have: engaged in unlawful activity with respect to his 2022 congressional campaign; failed to properly disclose required information on statements filed with the House; violated federal conflict of interest laws in connection with his role in a firm providing fiduciary services; and/or engaged in sexual misconduct towards an individual seeking employment in his congressional office.”

Santos filed for reelection in 2024 on March 14.

PHOTO: George Santos, May 10 2023

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