The only indication that Rep. George Santos finally opened a district office in Queens was the lone staff member sitting inside on Wednesday scrolling through his phone.
The district office in Douglaston still features an awning bearing the name of Tom Suozzi, Santos’ predecessor for the seat covering Queens and parts on Long Island. When Gothamist entered the office, the staffer, who would not give his name, asked to speak outside on the sidewalk where he directed all inquiries to a spokesperson in Washington, D.C.
Naysa Woomer, a spokesperson for Santos, said the office opened last week, but she would not give an exact day. She said the public opening was delayed due to “maintenance issues” stemming from a project on the floor above their office. She said there were repairs needed to portions of the ceiling, along with some electrical work. But she said since the office opened last week, it’s been operating from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Members of the House of Representatives each have a district office to respond to constituent issues. Woomer would not disclose how many constituent cases the office had begun to address, nor would she provide any details about what public events were on Santos’ schedule for the week. She did confirm that he was in the district this week, since the House does not meet again until next Tuesday.
The low-key opening came over a week following several rallies held outside the district office demanding Santos face his constituents despite a torrent of revelations that he fabricated parts of his biography.
Santos, a Republican, has been under intense pressure to resign for lying about his credentials, notably his business and academic background. He also admitted to lying about his religion, describing himself as Jewish on the campaign trail when in fact he was raised Christian.
The calls to resign have even come from members of his own party on Long Island, though the Queens GOP has not called for Santos to resign.
Santos was also reportedly accused of swindling a New Jersey veteran out of $3,000 he collected through a GoFundMe page in 2016. Santos set up the page to allegedly collect monies to cover the costs of the veteran’s veterinary bills. Brazilian authorities have reopened an investigation into Santos over accusations he forged checks.
Despite the investigations, a complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission and a House ethics complaint filed by Democratic Reps. Ritchie Torres and Dan Goldman, Santos was still reportedly assigned two committee positions by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy this week. He will be a member of the Small Business and Science, Space and Technology committees.
House leadership was not required to seat him on any committee.