George Santos latest: ‘Hire’ treasurer turned down job
U.S. Representative George Santos’ campaign committee told federal regulators on Wednesday it has hired a new treasurer amid questions about the origins of his wealth. and irregularities in the committee’s financial statements.
The only problem? The man Santos is said to have hired says he actually turned down the job.
It is unclear whether the committee mistakenly listed a new treasurer on Federal Election Commission paperwork – or if it was another lie by a congressman who was caught making up many elements in his life story.
The man who turned down the job, Thomas Datwyler, said through an attorney that it appeared there had been some miscommunication.
“On Monday, we informed the Santos campaign that Mr. Datwyler will not be treasurer,” Datwyler’s attorney, Derek Ross, said in a statement. “It looks like there was a disconnect between that conversation and the (Wednesday) profile that we didn’t authorize.”
Santos’ House of Representatives office on Thursday referred questions to his campaign, Devolder Santos to Congress, whose lawyer, Joe Murray, said: “It would not be appropriate to answer due to the investigations. open investigation.”
A message seeking comment was left for former campaign treasurer, Nancy Marks.
Under federal regulations, a campaign committee cannot raise or spend money unless a treasurer is present. The treasurer collects all donations — and only the treasurer, or the treasurer’s designee, can approve campaign expenses.
Devolder Santos to Congress filed a new statement on the organization on Wednesday, listing Datwyler as treasurer and record-keeper, replacing Marks, who has held both positions since Santos first took over. running for Congress in 2020. The form includes what is believed to be his electronic signature, along with his email and mailing address.
Five other political fundraising committees linked to Santos filed similar paperwork with the FEC on Wednesday, listing Datwyler as the new treasurer.
Santos’ campaign filed a new statement about the organization a day after filing new campaign financials on Tuesday, increasing confusion over the source of personal wealth he claims to have used. to finance his election campaign.
The campaign has provided the FEC with revised versions of the report over the past two years, including forms giving conflicting accounts as to whether some of the $705,000 he gave his campaign loan since 2021 is he out of pocket or not.
Hours before Datwyler announced his new listing, Santos again declined to answer questions about the origin of his assets and delegated responsibility for revising his campaign financial statements to staff. campaign officer.
“Let’s make it clear. I didn’t modify anything. I didn’t touch anything in my FEC, so don’t be dishonest and report that I did,” Santos said. “Every campaign hires a trustee, so I don’t know that answer, but we’ll have an answer to the press regarding the revisions from yesterday.”
Datwyler, a veteran political moneymaker, was treasurer for dozens of House and Senate campaigns, including Representative Nick LaLota’s campaign in the neighboring district of Santos. Marks, a longtime Long Island political official, served as treasurer to LaLota’s predecessor, former Representative Lee Zeldin, and was closely associated with Santos’ rise to power.
She has served as treasurer on several of the committees that support Santos – and she and her family have made the most of his campaign. A company affiliated with Marks’ Long Island address is listed on paper among co-owners of the company he and others founded in Florida in 2021 following the collapse of Harbor City Capital, a The investment company where Santos works that the SEC alleges is a Ponzi scheme.
Marks’ books have been scrutinized by the FEC and campaign finance experts. The committee has repeatedly flagged problems with Santos’ campaign financial reports, sending out more than two dozen letters asking for more information about donations, donors and grants. his personal loan.
The Campaign Legal Center, a nonprofit watchdog, filed a FEC complaint against Santos and Marks this month detailing the problems they found in his campaign reports. , which includes a large number of expenses just below the $200 threshold for which the campaign will have to withhold a canceled receipt, invoice or check.
The Santos campaign reported 37 expenses worth exactly $199.99 — including seven from an Italian restaurant in Queens, five from Uber and four from Delta Air Lines. The Campaign Legal Center highlighted a number of unlikely deals, including a $199.99 stay at a luxury hotel in Miami, where the cheapest room that week usually costs over 700 dollars.
The organization’s director of federal reform, Saurav Ghosh, said it’s rare for a campaign treasurer to be implicated for reporting a breach, but “when a campaign has such a dramatic level of reporting failure, the the fund is ultimately responsible.”