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Records show House Democrats quickly fired IT workers under investigation

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A new salary report from the House of Representatives shows that when news broke in February about a possible criminal investigation into a small group of information technology contractors working on Capitol Hill, over two dozen Democratic lawmakers quickly moved to terminate the workers, with only Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) keeping one of those employees on the office payroll through the entire first quarter of 2017.

Before early February, Imran Awan, his wife Hina, and his brothers Abid and Jamal were employed by 27 different House Democrats as ‘shared employees,’ doing computer tech support and other information technology work for those Congressional offices, paid anywhere from a couple hundred to several thousand dollars per quarter.

But once word emerged of a criminal investigation, those same House members swiftly terminated Awan and his relatives, most making that move on February 2 and 3, just before the first news stories broke about the matter.

There was only one office that did not entirely cut ties with the four reportedly under scrutiny by U.S. Capitol Police, as Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) kept Imran Awan on the payroll through the end of March, and paid his wife through March 7.

Earlier this month, Wasserman Schultz drew attention to the investigation, when she sharply questioned the U.S. Capitol Police Chief at a House hearing, demanding that an item from her office be returned – the Chief said it was part of an ongoing investigation.

“I think you’re violating the rules when you conduct your business that way,” Wasserman Schultz said bluntly, as she told the Chief that he should “expect that there will be consequences.”

As for the status of the probe, officials still aren’t shedding light on what it involves, what Awan and his relatives supposedly did, and whether any criminal activity was committed – no charges have yet been filed.

“We do not comment on ongoing investigations,” a spokeswoman for the Capitol Police said in an email.

Judging by the reaction of lawmakers on Capitol Hill – something major changed with respect to these IT workers, as members of Congress quickly pulled the plug on their “shared employees” in early February.

Here are the dates when Imran Awan was terminated by Democratic lawmakers, according to salary data released by the House of Representatives:

+ Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH) – February 2
+ Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA) – February 3
+ Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) – February 8
+ Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) – February 3
+ Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) – February 28
+ Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) – February 2
+ Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL) – February 2
+ Rep. Donald McEachin (D-VA) – February 3
+ Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD) – February 3
+ Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) – February 3
+ Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) – February 2

The termination dates for Awan’s wife, Hina Alvi:

+ Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) – February 2
+ Rep. Daniel Kildee (D-MI) – February 3
+ Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) – February 28
+ Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) – February 2
+ Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) – February 3
+ Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) – March 7

The termination dates for Jamal Awan:

+ Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) – February 2
+ Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA) – February 3
+ Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) – February 2
+ Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL) – February 2
+ Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA) – February 3
+ Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) – March 1
+ Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) – February 9

The end of salary dates for Abid Awan:

+ Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA) – March 10
+ Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) – February 3
+ Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL) – February 3
+ Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) – February 2
+ Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) – March 10
+ Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) – February 6
+ Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) – February 3
+ Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL) – February 3

Records show that Imran Awan was paid $1,494.45 by Rep. Wasserman Schultz for work during the current Congress, from January 3 through March 31.

In the fourth quarter of 2016, Awan made $5,000 from his work for Wasserman Schultz.


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