The staff director and chief counsel for the Office of Congressional Ethics is being sued for verbally abusing and physically assaulting women.
Omar Ashmawy’s case goes back to his involvement in a late-night brawl in 2015 in Milford, Pennsylvania, according to Foreign Policy.
The suit includes a range of allegations related to his behavior that night and in subsequent years.
Ashmawy is named in the congressional documents as the person who presented investigations into allegations against former Rep. John Conyers Jr. of sexual harassment that led him to resign.
Ashmawy is accused of “threatening to use his position as staff director and chief counsel of the Office of Congressional Ethics to induce a criminal proceeding to be brought against Plaintiff and/or others” according to the lawsuit reviewed by Foreign Policy.
Ashmawy denied the allegations against him.
“To be clear, I did not harass anyone that evening, physically or verbally,” he said. “To the contrary, I was the victim of a wholly unprovoked assault for which those responsible were investigated, arrested and charged. Any allegation to the contrary is unequivocally false.”
The report said that Ashmawy got into an altercation at a bar in the Milford area that left him bloodied in the back of a police car.
Shortly after, three men were arrested for assaulting Ashmawy. Court documents Foreign Policy reviewed show that three women, including the bartender, accused him of harassing and physically assaulting them.
One of the men who was arrested, Greg Martucci, said he witnessed Ashmawy act in “an extremely violent and belligerent” manner and was verbally abusive toward two women at Milford’s Dominick Inn, according to court documents reviewed by Foreign Policy.
Martucci is now suing Ashmawy in a Pennsylvania federal court related to the bar fight. Martucci eventually had the charges dropped against him and had his record expunged.
Dawn Jorgensen, one of the women Ashmawy is accused of harassing, said she saw Ashmawy sexually harass the bartender. This led to Jorgensen’s husband, John, taking him outside.
Christina Floyd, another woman at the bar, said she also saw Ashmawy verbally harass the bartender each time he ordered drinks.
“I am a 5-foot-3 woman who never knew this man. I was very scared of him and was afraid he’d come back around for weeks after,” Floyd wrote, according to the documents reviewed by Foreign Policy.