Yahoo! News reports that Omar Ashmawy, head of the Congressional Ethics Office, has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol after an incident in Pennsylvania last month.
According to the criminal complaint filed by the police on September 28, Ashmawy has been charged with driving under the influence, careless driving, disregard of a traffic lane, and restrictions of alcohol in a vehicle.
Investigators said that on the night of September 10, Ashmawy lost control of his vehicle, veered off the road, struck a stop sign, and collided with two parked cars before hitting the front porch of a home.
Hector Fernandez, the owner of the home that Ashmawy crashed into, said he went outside to find his vehicle moved approximately nine feet from where he had parked earlier that evening. Fernandez noted that when Ashmawy got out of his car, he appeared “highly intoxicated and disoriented.”
Fernandez later found that his car was inoperable following the crash.
After refusing to take field sobriety and breathalyzer tests, Ashmawy was placed under arrest by Eastern Pike Police Department officers.
Ashmawy, who has been the chief director and chief counsel for the Congressional Ethics Office for the past years, said in a statement to the media that the incident had been a “wake-up call’ that he has had an issue with certain medical issues and alcohol dependency.
The co-chairs of the Congressional Ethics Office said that they take the matter very seriously and will be conducting a review of the matter. Ashmawy was placed on administrative leave as soon as the office learned of his arrest. Helen Eisner, who has served as deputy chief counsel for the office, is now serving as staff director.
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for November 1.