Head of Congressional Ethics Office Arrested, Charged with DUI After Crashing Car Into House

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Omar Ashmawy

The guy who has been in charge of the congressional ethics office for the past 12 years is an alcoholic who crashed his car into someone’s house while driving under the influence.

Omar Ashmawy, the head of the Congressional Ethics Office, was arrested and charged with a DUI last month, according to an exclusive report by Yahoo News published on Thursday.

Ashmway was suspended after crashing into a stop sign, hitting a parked car and plowing into the front porch of a house while drunk.

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screen image of Omar Ashmawy’s car crash

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The criminal complaint was filed in a Pike County, Pennsylvania court.

“I’ve had some medical issues including a diagnosis of syncope that I am dealing with in this case, but this incident was a wake-up call to me that I have a problem with alcohol dependency,” Ashmawy said in a statement to Yahoo News. “I’ve since sought out treatment for my use of alcohol, and I’m currently in a program where I am addressing this dependency. I’m grateful for the continued support of my family, friends and colleagues.”

Yahoo News reported:

The head of the Office of Congressional Ethics was arrested and charged with DUI and three other violations after veering off the road, plowing over a stop sign, hitting one parked car and then another before finally crashing straight into the front porch of a house in Pennsylvania last month, according to police records and the criminal complaint obtained by Yahoo News.

Omar Ashmawy was arrested on Sept. 10, according to police reports included with the formal criminal complaint filed on Sept. 28 in Pike County, Pa., court.

Ashmawy has been charged with driving under the influence, careless driving, driving on roadways laned for traffic and restrictions on alcohol in a vehicle, according to a copy of the criminal complaint obtained by Yahoo News through open records requests with the Eastern Pike Regional Police Department. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 1.

Ashmawy has held the position of staff director and chief counsel for the ethics office for the past 12 years. In his most recent position, he oversaw investigations into allegations of misconduct by lawmakers. He was placed on leave Wednesday after he and the ethics office were contacted by Yahoo News.

“We take this matter very seriously and the Board will be reviewing the circumstances surrounding it,” read a statement from Mike Barnes and Paul Vinovich, co-chairmen of the board of the Office of Congressional Ethics. “In the meantime, Mr. Ashmawy has been placed on leave to deal with the issues that contributed to this incident. Helen Eisner will serve as the Acting Staff Director during his absence.”

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