Patterico's Pontifications


Irony: Office of Congressional Ethics Staff Director Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:22 am

[Guest post by Dana]

In light of the current flurry of elected officials being accused of sexual misconduct (and making payouts using taxpayer money), it is an ironic slap in the face of Americans to find out that a high-ranking official, whose job is to investigate accusations of sexual misconduct against lawmakers, is himself being sued in federal court for physical and sexual harassment of several women — as well as using his powerful position to influence law enforcement responsible for the investigation into the matter:

Omar Ashmawy, staff director and chief counsel of the Office of Congressional Ethics, is heavily involved in determining which allegations brought against lawmakers warrant an ethics committee probe.

Ashmawy, who signed off on the ethics investigation into Democratic Rep. John Conyers of Michigan among others, was allegedly assaulted by three men after repeatedly sexually harassing women in a Milford, Penn., bar on Valentines Day in 2015.

One of the men, Greg Martucci, is suing Ashmawy in federal court for, among other things, “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 court inflatable movie screen filings obtained by Foreign Policy.

Ashmawy denies that he harassed any women that night, and says the assault was unprovoked: “To be clear, I did not harass anyone that evening, physically or verbally,” he wrote in a statement to FP. “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.”

However, witnesses at the bar and the alleged victims corroborated Martucci’s accusation that Ashmawy had behaved in an “extremely violent and belligerent” manner toward several women that night:

Dawn Jorgensen corroborated much of what Martucci alleges in his suit in a written statement provided to police. She claims she saw Martucci “clearly sexually harassing” [Joey Lynn] Smith during successive trips to the bar to order drinks.

“You’ll give me drinks, but you won’t fuck me,” Ashmawy said to Smith before physically blocking her escape and grabbing her, according to Dawn Jorgensen’s statement. At that point, Dawn Jorgensen said she tried to intervene, at which point Ashmawy allegedly grabbed her wrist and fell on top of her.

[Christina] Floyd confirmed much of what Dawn Jorgensen alleged in her own statement to the police.

“I watched each time Omar would come down and verbally sexually harass the bartender as he ordered drinks,” Floyd wrote in her statement, describing Ashmawy.”

After witnessing the altercation, bar owner John Jorgensen (who is also the husband of Dawn Jorgensen), Martucci, and another individual took Ashmawy out back to the woodshed where, according to Ashmawy’s statement, he was left with a “bruised and bloody eye.” Oddly, in spite of the written statements by the alleged victims, no charges of sexual assault or harassment have been filed against Ashmawy.

Piggybacking on the theme of “ethics” and officials behaving badly, Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D-Nev.) is currently facing an investigation concerning his alleged sexual misconduct involving two women:

The House Ethics Committee announced Friday that it has launched an investigation into the conduct of Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D-Nev.) amid allegations that he sexually harassed an employee on his 2016 congressional campaign and a lobbyist during his time as a state legislator.

Nancy Pelosi has called on Kihuen to resign several times, based on the accusation by the lobbyist that: “…Kihuen touched her thighs and buttocks without consent and sent her hundreds of suggestive text messages, which the Nevada] Independent reviewed.”

Kihuen has declined to step down, stating that he wants to “go through the ethics process.”

Meanwhile, Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Tx.), who is also the subject of a House Ethics Committee investigation, announced that rather than step down from his position, he has decided instead not to run for reelection after it had been revealed that he had “settled a lurid sexual harassment claim with his former communications director for $84,000,” and faces accusations from two former press secretaries who claimed he had “an explosive temper, berate them repeatedly, made sexually explicit jokes and engaged in casual sexual banter that set a tone followed by his underlings.”

And as a reminder, Sen. Al Franken (D-Mn.) has not yet stepped down after facing numerous allegations of sexual misconduct. The senator also remains baffled about how those women’s bottoms ended up in his unwilling hands. However, according to a report out today, the Democrat will be gone in early January when Lt. Gov. Tina Smith is scheduled to take over his seat.

In the midst of numerous allegations against officials, and resignations by some of them, Speaker Paul Ryan has had enough of these shenanigans, especially when it involves taxpayer money:

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Wednesday that Congress plans to stop using taxpayer dollars to settle sexual harassment cases against lawmakers.

When asked whether Congress would stop using taxpayer dollars to settle these cases, Ryan replied, “Yes, that’s among the things we’re working on right now.”

Ryan added that he agrees with Weber’s assertion that using taxpayer dollars to settle harassment claims is “indefensible.”

While both the House and the Senate have voted to implement sexual harassment training for all members of Congress and staffers, reforms on how Congress should handle accusations of sexual misconduct are also in the works. One hopes that all the decision-makers bear in mind that these lawmakers who have behaved badly are adults who already know that sexual harassment and assault is not only wrong but also illegal. However, like small children, they behave in such an unacceptable manner because they know they can get away with it. And no amount of sexual harassment training can change that. As such, it will be interesting to see whether the new reforms have any actual teeth to them.

Final point: if this teaser has any merit to it, those reforms should be put in place much sooner rather than later.

Also, any official that has used taxpayer money to make secret settlements should be publicly named, to promote a more transparent government.

— Dana

43 Responses to “Irony: Office of Congressional Ethics Staff Director Accused of Sexual Misconduct”

  1. there are those of us what navigate these waters with grace and maturity and sophistication

    and then there’s the trashy socially-challenged nerd-twats what go to make a career in washington

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  2. He came from our force jag, but they don’t make clear who hired him:

    narciso (d1f714)

  3. D.C. is nothing but a dick swinging contest

    mg (60b0f7)

  4. oh for the love of ranch style beans who cares

    i just read the actual article

    this guy’s being accused of disrespecting a bartender and the wife of the owner of the bar

    Martucci, a former federal air marshall later fired for his role in the dispute, describes witnessing “an extremely violent and belligerent” Ashmawy verbally abusing bartender Joey Lynn Smith and Dawn Jorgenson – the wife of John Jorgensen, who owns the bar where the incident occurred. Martucci also claims he witnessed Ashmawy physically abusing Dawn Jorgensen and a third woman, Christina Floyd.

    and he didn’t get arrested or nothing

    at worst he had a bad night out at a bar in Milford effing Pennsylvania (a far-flung suburb of Scranton) and we have NO idea what happened that night

    just cause corpulent nevertrump trash like Jonah Goldberg eschew pick-up bars for twinkies and dog farts doesn’t mean we all have to live in their sick joyless asexual world

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  5. ranch style beans with sour cream and cilantro garnished with thin slices of fresh jalapeno

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  6. we can throw some green onions on top too

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  7. I’m surprised he left Milford alive but maybe Egyptian plus Italian just looks really really Sicilian.

    urbanleftbehind (9240ed)

  8. Buckaroo Banzai Dec 16, 2017 3:19 PM

    I think Mueller is doing a bang-up job. We’ve learned more about the FBI in the last six months than in the previous 109 years combined. Sometimes unintended consequences are the best consequences.

    Pretty sure Trump can grasp this.

    this is a very astute observation

    and i’d add how it looks for all the world that

    the FBI and the NFL are on parallel tracks of corruption and perversion

    and the whirl only noticed cause of trash like Comey and Kaepertwat took the perversion a step too far

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  9. It does seem to me, also, that this ethics office person got beat up by a saloon owner and his buddy, and then the saloon owner got the honey boo boo he was married to and the honey boo boo that worked for him to say that they were defending the honey boo boos’ honors. Which is probably more than they ever did. And it looks like it seemed that way to the police and prosecutor, too.

    nk (9651fb)

  10. plus why did that air marshal loser get fired over this?

    (i just noticed the DC spellered air marshall wrong)

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  11. One hopes that all the decision-makers bear in mind that these lawmakers who have behaved badly are adults who already know that sexual harassment and assault is not only wrong but also illegal…

    On deck, Clarence Thomas.

    Joe Biden apologizes for what Anita Hill ‘went through’ in Senate hearing 26 years ago

    “I [Joe Biden] believed in Anita. I voted against Clarence Thomas,” Biden added. “Anita Hill was victimized, there is no question in my mind. Maybe I could have handled it better from the beginning, but I made her case on the floor and I made her case in the committee.”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  12. “TAKING IT TO THE STREETS: Eric Holder warns GOP: ‘Any attempt to remove Bob Mueller will not be tolerated.’

    Obama’s Ethics Czar: ‘Take The Streets’ If Trump Fires Mueller.

    And they keep telling us Trump is a threat to public order.”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  13. The guy who swam naked with female secret service around tells us about sexual harassment.

    narciso (b01a4d)

  14. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)… plans to stop… “…we’re working on that…”

    Translation: Lyin’ Ryan (R-Wuss) does nothing.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  15. Ryan noes there’s a tsunami coming DC.

    They’re all cowards.

    Admiral Ben Bunsen Burner (4b3a7c)

  16. Set fire to the ship before you scuttle her mateys.

    We don’t want a plank to survive

    Admiral Ben Bunsen Burner (4b3a7c)

  17. Scorched Earth leaves nothing for salvage, Grand Old Party

    Admiral Ben Bunsen Burner (4b3a7c)

  18. Without a doubt there would be an impeachment effort,” she said.

    Admiral Ben Bunsen Burner (4b3a7c)

  19. So why did a Dem appointee with serious flags remain the chief official onnethics, is that what the kefrluffle was this spring?

    narciso (d1f714)

  20. @20. Flotsam, Ben. The good ship GOP strayed off course, ‘cruzed’ into a minefield and blew itself up. A billionaire’s yacht will rescue a few first class survivors but the rest trying to keep their heads above water below are doomed; der SS Trump has a take no prisoners policy.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  21. We can do some serious redevelopment of turtle bay:

    narciso (d1f714)

  22. They ought to call it slimeball:

    narciso (d1f714)

  23. The guy who swam naked with female secret service around tells us about sexual harassment.
    narciso (b01a4d) — 12/16/2017 @ 2:15 pm

    A guy dating a female SS agent almost had a go with Uncle Joe. He grabbed her somewhere private as I recall.

    Pinandpuller (057ce4)

  24. Portuguese man of war are less handy than slow Jo.

    narciso (d1f714)

  25. @25. is drooling on air over the likes of a visibly uncomfortable Peggy Noonan was unmistakable to viewers. ‘Course in his mind, he actually believed and expressed on camera that Matthews and Olberman, to the surprise of gobsmacked KO, were another Huntley and Brinkley. Management was not amused. The motor mouth is less urbane than methane; you’ll avoid getting gas by not dining through a telecast of ‘Hardball.’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  26. ^His

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  27. They aren’t even been rowan and martin, and its hard to belief that Denny Deutsche, their answer to Gerald rivers doesn’t have a few flags in him.

    narciso (d1f714)

  28. @30. No kidding.

    Back in the day, in NYC advertising circles, Donny Badboy was notorious; so much so his own father fired him from the agency he later inherited.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  29. @30. Postscript; infidelity queen Mika & queen’s rook Joe ain’t in any position to be thowning morality stones at Trump Castle gates, either.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  30. Steve and Eddie make us wistful for imus and deidre,

    narciso (d1f714)

  31. Santifa Claus

    Russia steals @HillaryClinton emails.

    Mueller steals President @realDonaldTrump emails.

    harkin (c60926)

  32. Portuguese man of war are less handy than slow Jo.
    narciso (d1f714) — 12/16/2017 @ 7:29 pm

    Joe’s a lover not a fighter. Gee, your hair smells terrific!

    Pinandpuller (057ce4)

  33. tinkle leg chriss mathews has hardball pay $40,000 for his sexual harassment suit. see if he mentions it on his show/

    me too (aa1fbb)

  34. now manchin says for franken to stay. and everyone said that Moore was guilty with no confirmed evidence. and here is franken, photos and all, and he will probably get to stay. just pathetic the double standards for those who DO NOT fit into the right-left establishment’s sense of immorality/morality & corruption/deception.

    for all those who condemned moore without any shred of proof yet fake witnesses, from over 40 years ago using forged documents, promoted by a woman whose own daughter PAYS for accusers to come forward and make up lies, funded by donors such as the Marxist liberal capitalist Soros, enjoy your fruits of a short-sighted victory.

    utter shame. the crimes are so obvious even a blind man can see threw them. again, utter shame that when a candidate doesn’t fit into the model of what the establishment feels is “the norm”, such as the two-faced Clintons. Obamas, Bushs, Romneys and McCains of the world, that candidate will be eaten alive and thrown overboard to the sharks.

    Where Eagles Dare (30c9de)

  35. it’s been well over 72 hours

    happyfeet (048778)

  36. His also working the aswan bros story the pasbgo crowded gang

    narciso (d1f714)


    Irony of ironies.

    Air Force’s Sexual Assault Prevention Officer Charged With Sexual Battery

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  38. Isn’t it Steve, who watches the watchers indeed.

    narciso (d1f714)

  39. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel? The story is from 2013. What was the verdict in the case?

    nk (dbc370)

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