Rep. George Santos continues to serve in the House despite multiple investigations...

Rep. George Santos continues to serve in the House despite multiple investigations and calls to step down. Credit: Getty Images/Win McNamee

The story of Rep. George Santos, the newly elected Republican representing parts of eastern Queens and western Nassau County, is playing out like a movie script created by writers who can’t stop one-upping each other.

“OK, we’ve got a gay MAGA Republican who was married to a woman who might have needed immigration help, while he was in relationships with males. He falsely claimed to be both Catholic and Jewish, and a descendant of Holocaust victims. He uses various aliases. He’s probably a United States citizen, but hasn’t actually proved it. He did not attend the colleges he claims. He did not work for the major financial institutions he claims. His mother did not die on 9/11, nor was she present, as he has claimed. His family did not have real estate in New York, and he did not manage a family firm with $80 million in assets. He had no money, then a lot, but its source is unclear. He gave some of it to people who should have asked more questions, but did not. He appears to have no known friends, unless you count a beleaguered House speaker with a four-vote majority.

“Our work here is done. We can’t make people hate this character any more.”

“Wait, Bobby, I have an idea. What if we added a fake GoFundMe charity that claims to raise money to help people save beloved pets. And … waitwaitwaitwait, this is genius! We’ll say there’s this homeless disabled Navy veteran, right, he’s got this sick SERVICE dog! And we’ll have Santos pretend to raise money for the dog, a lot of it from the veteran’s friends and family, and then Santos steals the money and the dog dies! No one can top that!”

In December, The New York Times reported that there was little evidence that Friends of Pets United (FOPU), the animal-rescue charity Santos claimed to run, had ever been registered as a charity with New Jersey or New York, or as a nonprofit by the IRS. It also reported that the lone public FOPU event for which evidence exists, a 2017 drinks and live-band fundraiser charging $50 a head, never gave a penny to the intended beneficiary, who was offered only repeated excuses.

But now’s Oyster Bay outlet has turned up another FOPU caper. Patch reported that, under the name Anthony Devolder, Santos convinced a disabled, homeless Navy veteran honorably discharged in 2002, Richard Osthoff, to let FOPU set up a GoFundMe drive for him. Osthoff’s service dog, Sapphire, had a large fatty tumor that was benign but needed to be removed before it grew so large it killed the pit bull mix.

But Osthoff and another veteran who tried to help him and remembers Santos’ involvement say that while the money was raised, they got the runaround when it came time to collect. 

Sapphire never got treatment and died, and Osthoff, out of work with a broken leg, had to panhandle to pay for her cremation.

Santos, who continues to serve in the House despite multiple criminal investigations and calls to step down, was assigned this week to the science and small business committees. 

That tells you exactly how much Speaker Kevin McCarthy prioritizes both science and small business. It leaves other GOP assignees to those committees struggling to convince constituents those committees matter.

And it leaves Long Island, and the nation, wondering what possible plot twist could come next.

Columnist Lane Filler's opinions are his own.

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