Priest recalls George Santos cries of poverty – saying family could not afford a funeral for his mother

New York Congressman-elect George Santos could also be going through some authorized obstacles quickly, after a quantity of inconsistencies in his resume got here to gentle this week. New York Attorney General Letitia James is trying into “a number of issues raised about Santos,” her office confirmed Thursday.

After days of burgeoning questions on his claims about his previous, Santos broke his silence Thursday, tweeting that he’ll have solutions subsequent week.

“To the people of #NY03 I have my story to tell and it will be told next week,” he tweeted. “I want to assure everyone that I will address your questions and that I remain committed to deliver the results I campaigned on; Public safety, Inflation, Education & more.”

Key Speakers At The Republican Jewish Coalition Annual Meeting
Representative-elect George Santos, a Republican from New York, speaks throughout the Republican Jewish Coalition

Ronda Churchill/Bloomberg through Getty Images

CBS News has spoken with a pastor, Father Jose Carlos da Silva, of Saint Rita’s Catholic Church, in Long Island City, Queens, who says he knew Santos’ family, the Devolders, properly. The Devolders got here to the church as soon as in a whereas, he informed CBS News. The family, together with George Santos, was Catholic, says da Silva. 

He additionally stated that when Santos’ mother, Fatima Devolder, died in 2016, Santos approached him to ask for assist from the church. Da Silva had ministered to the family throughout Devolder’s sickness, and shortly after she died, Santos informed da Silva that the family could not afford a funeral. 

A memorial mass was held on the church, which held a assortment for the family. Da Silva stated he did not rely the money collected, however recalled that the quantity raised was vital, and that he handed the gathering on to Santos. But da Silva’s portrayal of the family’s monetary situation is at odds with the biography offered by Santos. 

His marketing campaign web site paints a image of success: “George’s work ethic comes from his mother, who came from nothing, but worked her way up to be the first female executive at a major financial institution. On September 11, 2001, George’s mother was in her office in the South Tower. She survived the horrific events of that day, but unfortunately passed away a few years later.”

CBS News has additionally verified proof of a brush with the legislation in Brazil by Santos, first reported by The New York Times. A 2013 public discover from a Rio de Janeiro courtroom accused Santos of embezzlement, although it did not elaborate on the costs. It recognized George Anthony Devolder Santos as a 25-year-old American instructor who was single. The quotation states that Santos, on the time of the costs, was in “an uncertain and unknown location” and subsequently could not be summoned. The doc gave Santos 10 days to supply supplies for his protection.

In the November midterm elections, Santos gained his race to symbolize components of Long Island and Queens in Congress. A Republican, he flipped a district beforehand held by a Democrat. Then earlier this week, the New York Times first reported that the candidate was working on a resume crammed with apparently fabricated claims about his education and work. CBS News adopted up on The Times’ reporting. Statements on his web site that he had labored for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup and that he had based a tax-exempt pet rescue could not be verified by the 2 banks or by the IRS. All three mentions have been faraway from his web site, though it nonetheless says that he graduated from Baruch College, which additionally could not discover a document of his matriculation there.

Multiple makes an attempt by CBS News to succeed in Santos have been unsuccessful. 

Caitlin Huey-Burns contributed to this report. 

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