(NESCONSET, N.Y.) – Inspired by damning reports that disgraced Rep. George Santos stole $3,000 from Richard Osthoff, a veteran who was raising funds for lifesaving treatment for his dying service dog – Nassau County Legislator Joshua A. Lafazan (D – Woodbury) joined with constituents to present a $27,000 donation to Paws of War – a Nesconset-based organization that helps train and place service dogs with veterans – on Wednesday, Feb. 15.
The success of fundraiser, which began of Jan. 18, greatly eclipsed Legislator Lafazan’s initial $3,000 goal – the exact amount that Santos is accused of stealing from Mr. Osthoff. The $27,000 sum represents a combined total of private donations from Mr. Larry Sarf and the proceeds of a GoFundMe fundraiser that Legislator Lafazan’s office sponsored.
“You think about the moral bankruptcy that an individual would have to take from such a vulnerable and a service dog that was so important to his quality of life,” Legislator Lafazan said. “Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of our community, we’ve raised the $3,000 – and a little more. We’ve now raised over $27,000 to benefit this amazing nonprofit – money that came from individuals who were sickened by the actions of George Santos and wanted to do their part to make things right.”
The Paws of War donation spearheaded by Legislator Lafazan comes after POLITICO reported that George Santos was charged in 2017 with theft in relation to a separate animal-related incident in which he allegedly paid for $15,000 in bad checks to steal puppies from Amish dog breeders in Pennsylvania – and then duplicitously had the charge expunged by claiming to prosecutors that he “worked for the SEC.”
PHOTO CAPTION – From left, U.S. Marine Corps veteran Mike Kilano, of Paws of War; Nassau County Legislator Joshua A. Lafazan; and veteran Izzy Weisfelner, of Woodbury, at Paws of War in Nesconset on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023.
PHOTO CREDIT – Office of Legislator Joshua A. Lafazan