FACT Calls for Ethics Investigation of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Updated: Mar 19, 2019
The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), a non-partisan ethics watchdog group, directed by former U.S. Attorney Matthew G. Whitaker, filed a complaint Monday with the Office of Congressional Ethics against U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) for continuing to employ and compensate House IT Aide, Imran Awan after he was barred from the House computer system and under criminal investigation.
According to FACT’s complaint, nearly all of the Members who employed Awan terminated his employment in March 2017. However, Wasserman Schultz refused to remove Awan from house payroll and compensated Awan with taxpayer funds for several months – even though he was barred from the House computer system which would prevent him from performing any reasonable IT work. In fact, Wasserman Schultz only fired Awan after he was arrested on bank fraud charges attempting to flee the country the morning of July 25, 2017.
“There is something quite amiss as to why Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz continued to use taxpayer funds to employ former technology staff member, Imran Awan, even months after he was barred from accessing the House’s computer systems and a number of her colleagues severed ties with Awan,” said Matthew Whitaker, Executive Director, Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT). “Since Awan’s arrest last week, Wasserman Schultz has been evasive and unable to answer even basic questions about the nature of Awan’s employment with her office. This only further confirms the urgency of an investigation into her unethical and illegal actions,” Whitaker added.
Wasserman Schultz is in clear violation of House Ethics Rules as Members of Congress are directly responsible for ensuring their staff are only paid for official public work. FACT urges the House Ethics Board to immediately investigate and take appropriate action in response to this apparent violation congressional ethics rules.