George Santos may owe thousands for traffic violations in two states
Add traffic and parking tickets to the growing list of legal and political woes facing embattled Rep. George Santos, a Republican from New York, who may owe more than $3,400 in unpaid citations, according to records from New York City and Florida.
A car registered to Santos was cited six times in 2016 and 2017 in Florida. Two tickets for running red lights were paid, but four toll violations racked up late fees and were ultimately sent to collections agencies according to Florida records. Santos, who represents New York's 3rd Congressional District, now owes $1,299.10 for those tolls.
Traffic violations may not be high on the list of worries for the freshman congressman, who is reported to be the subject of both federal and local investigations stemming from questions about the financing of his campaigns. But records show the fines could continue to pile up.
One of the tickets issued to Santos' vehicle shows color photos from a red-light camera of a silver Jeep with puppy paw-print and dog-bone bumper stickers. The tickets include a zoomed-in capture of the car's license plate.
In November 2016, Santos, who previously had a Florida drivers license, was issued a driver's license in New York. That month, a car with the same license plate began piling up citations in New York City — 29 in the next two and a half years, according to city government records, which do not identify the drivers of vehicles being ticketed.
The tickets ran the gamut, from expired meters and double parking to five more red light violations. More than $1,800 in payments were made for 17 citations, but another 12 remain unpaid, with $2,142.61 still due, according to city records.
A spokesperson for Santos' congressional office declined to comment on whether Santos was aware of the citations or behind the wheel when the incidents occurred. She referred CBS News to Santos' attorney, who did not reply to a request for comment.
The New York Post reported in January that a Nissan Rogue driven frequently by Santos in recent months had been issued speeding tickets at least five times since he was elected on Nov. 8, "including four times in school zones."
Santos has been mired in a morass of controversies ignited by revelations, many of which came out after his election to Congress, that he fabricated parts of his biography.
New York State and federal prosecutors have announced investigations related to Santos and he is the target of complaints to the Federal Election Commission over campaign spending and the House Ethics Committee.
The FBI is investigating Santos' alleged role in purporting to raise funds for a veteran's dying dog, a representative for the veteran told CBS News on Wednesday.
Santos recused himself from serving on House committees earlier this week.
"This was a decision that I take very seriously. The business of the 118th Congress must continue without media fanfare," Santos said Tuesday. "It is important that I primarily focus on serving the constituents of New York's 3rd Congressional District and providing federal level representation without distraction."
A Newsday/Siena College poll poll of Santos' constituents published Tuesday suggests the majority believe he should resign. More than 80% of the 653 registered voters polled view Santos unfavorable. Nearly as many, 78%, said he should resign, including 71% of Republicans.
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