Just after the Federal Election Commission warned that he couldn’t raise or spend money without one, it appears that freshman Rep. George Santos (R-NY) has finally hired a new treasurer.
On Tuesday, the Devolder-Santos for Congress campaign listed a man named Andrew Olson to its newest campaign filings. While the filing should serve as solid confirmation that Olson is the new treasurer, we’ve been down this road with Santos before.
The filings don’t list much information about Olson besides his email address and a location in Elmhurst, New York—which, as CNN notes, Santos previously used as his own address. No other details are offered about him, and Olson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
His hiring comes a week after the FEC warned Santos that he would have to stop handling campaign funds if he didn’t have a treasurer.
“It is required that for any committee to conduct any business, they must have an active treasurer,” they wrote in a letter released to the public on Feb. 15. “Failure to appoint a treasurer will result in the inability of the committee to accept contributions and make disbursements.”
The FEC also noted that a new treasurer must be appointed within ten days after the last one resigned.
Santos’s last official treasurer Nancy Marks, a veteran GOP operative who’d worked with the New York Republican for his two congressional campaigns, had become a central character in the dizzying array of questions surrounding his finances.
On Jan. 9 the Campaign Legal Center, a nonprofit watchdog group, filed a civil complaint with the FEC alleging that Santos potentially violated campaign finance rules. They pointed out 37 payments at $199.99 each—one cent below the threshold that would’ve required them to keep receipts—which mirrored a similar pattern in then-New York Rep. Lee Zeldin’s 2020 run. Marks was the chief accountant for both campaigns.
By the end of the month, she’d resigned and Santos moved on. Marks has not responded to multiple requests for comment.
On Jan. 25, Santos’s campaign filed new statements to replace Marks with a new accountant, a longtime campaign finance consultant named Thomas Datwyler. But his lawyer soon clarified that Datwyler hadn’t even taken the job.
“On Monday, we informed the Santos campaign that Mr. Datwyler would not be taking over as treasurer,” his attorney Derek Ross said. “And there appears to be some disconnect between that conversation and this filing.”
So, on Jan. 26, the FEC sent Devolder-Santos for Congress a letter asking for his next steps. “It has come to the attention of the Federal Election Commission that you may have failed to include the true, correct, or complete treasurer information” by listing Datwyler as treasurer, the letter said.
They gave him until March 2 to respond or face potential criminal charges if he’s found to have knowingly made “materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation” on his filings.
Santos’ response to questions at the time about his financial filings was snippier than usual.
“Let’s make it very clear: I don’t amend anything; I don’t touch any of my FEC stuff, right? So don’t be disingenuous and report that I did because you know that every campaign hires fiduciaries,” he said.