Top ethics official accused of assaulting women at Dimmick Inn

Lawsuit claims he abused his power: Official says he was attacked 'without any provocation whatsoever'


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Photos



  • Omar Ashmawy, staff director at the Office of Congressional Ethics. (Photo By Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call) (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)




  • Gregory Martucci filed a federal lawsuit nearly two years after a fight at the Dimmick Inn.



What Martucci wants

Martucci says that although the criminal charges and arrest were dismissed and expunged, he was still suspended without pay from his job. During the course of his suspension, he was prohibited from obtaining outside employment.
Ashmawy’s attorney, Donald Carmelite, supported this claim in a statement to the Courier, stating, “This matter was investigated by Mr. Martucci’s employer, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), who apparently placed him on leave without pay and then fired him.”
Martucci claims his loss of a job cost him his savings, forced him to pay attorneys’ fees, and go into arrears on child support.
Martucci is seeking a finding that his rights were violated, and monetary compensation from Ashmawy, the Borough of Milford and DaSilva.
Carmelite says Ashmawy denies these claims.
“Mr. Ashmawy has been consistent and steadfast about what happened that night — unequivocally denying all of the plaintiff’s false claims, and has specifically challenged the plaintiff's recitation of facts,” Carmelite said. “He will continue to defend himself from all the claims asserted by the plaintiff in court.”


BY ERIKA NORTON

— A man who heads up the House of Representatives’ ethics investigations is accused of verbally and physically assaulting three women at the Dimmick Inn in Milford, PA, two years ago, which led to a fight in which police say he was severely beaten and later hospitalized.

According to a lawsuit filed in federal court last month, Omar Ashmawy, who is the staff director and chief counsel of the Office of Congressional Ethics, was beaten up at the Dimmick Inn on Feb. 15, 2015, according to the Milford police. Gregory Martucci says in the lawsuit that he did not punch or strike Ashmawy, but rather helped break up the bar fight when Ashmawy verbally and physically assaulted three women. Ashmawy has a house in Matamoras.

Martucci claims he saw Ashmawy becoming verbally abusive towards Dawn Jorgenson, the wife of Dimmick Inn owner John Jorgenson, and Joey-Lynn Smith, a bartender at the Dimmick Inn. Martucci says he then saw Ashmawy physically assaulting Dawn Jorgenson and Christina Floyd, a friend of Dawn Jorgenson.

The lawsuit says Ashmawy appeared to be drunk and threw and/or pushed Mrs. Jorgenson down to the floor, into the hostess stand, and also pushed Floyd.

Martucci says he pulled Ashmawy away from Mrs. Jorgenson and Smith. At this point, a woman, who Martucci says he later learned was Ashmawy’s girlfriend, Kelly Paddock, exited the restroom and began to kick and punch Tim Riley — who was Christina Floyd’s boyfriend.

Martucci claims Ashmawy was “extremely violent and belligerent,” but that he was able to physically pull Ashmawy away from Mrs. Jorgenson and Floyd and take him outside, away from the scene.

At no point during the incident did he punch or strike Ashmawy or engage in any criminal or tortious behavior toward him, Martucci claims, but rather acted in the justified defense of Mrs. Jorgenson, Ms. Floyd, and other patrons in the Dimmick Inn.

Martucci was later criminally charged in connection with the incident, which he claims was malicious prosecution.

And in September 2016, the Pike County District Attorney’s Office agreed to dismiss the charges against Martucci. No conditions were placed on Martucci in exchange for dismissal, and the criminal charges and arrest were expunged.

John Jorgenson and Tim Riley were also both criminally charged with aggravated assault, disorderly conduct, and harassment, related to the incident. Riley’s charged were dismissed, and two of Jorgenson’s charges were dismissed while the other two were settled nolo contendere.

Denies claimsAshmawy categorically denies the allegations against him.

"This matter was fully investigated,” Ashmawy said in a statement sent to the Courier on Friday, Dec. 15. “I was the victim, and the men responsible were arrested and charged.

“The three assailants attacked me without any provocation whatsoever, and any suggestion to contrary is nothing but an exercise in slander,” he continued. “I have proudly served this country with honor and distinction for the last 17 years — first as an officer in the U.S. Air Force and then as a staffer with the U.S. House of Representatives.

“I have never put myself before my country — and I certainly did not do so that night.”

According to police, officers observed the victim, later identified as Ashmawy, with a bloody nose, bloody lip, and black eye. He was transported to Bon Secours Community Hospital in Port Jervis.

Ashmawy told police that the blows he suffered fractured bones in his face.

In a police report, a patron of the bar at the time of the incident said, “I called 911 because I thought it wasn't a fair fight and I was concerned the guy was getting hurt bad.

Donald L. Carmelite, Ashmawy’s attorney, told the Courier that Ashmawy was the victim of assault, sustaining significant injury at the hands of Martucci, and the other assailants — “a matter investigated by police, testified to by an independent witness, and uncontested by the assailants in court.”

‘Abuse of power’Not only is Martucci claiming that he did not assault Ashmawy, but he is also accusing him of threatening to “use the power of his office as a federal government official to coerce the Milford Police Department and Pike County Office of the District Attorney to pursue a criminal action against” him.

Martucci claims that Ashmawy made continual complaints to the Milford Police Department and Pike County District Attorney’s office over not filing charges against Martucci, going so far as to send a letter to the District Attorney’s Office using his congressional office address and threatening federal investigation/inquiry into the conduct of the Milford Police Department and/or the Pike County District Attorney’s Office.

Martucci also accuses then-Milford Police Chief Jack DaSilva of filing felony charges against him and not filing charges against Ashmawy because of Ashmawy’s position in Washington, referring to him as a “DC big shot.”

Martucci claims that a chief of police personally investigating the incident was contrary to accepted practice or procedure, and that DaSilva personally issued or ordered the criminal charges against him with the knowledge that they were without merit.

DaSilva was recently demoted from police chief to patrol officer after residents complained about the lack of enforcement, according to the Milford Borough Council.

Attempts to reach DaSilva’s attorney were unsuccessful at press time.

DaSilva and the Borough of Milford have filed similar motions to dismiss. A conference before a judge with all parties’ attorneys is scheduled for Jan. 5, 2018.

The two accounts of the incident  — and what has happened since  — raise more questions than provide answers.

Why were charges dropped against Martucci?

And why weren’t charges filed against Ashmawy?

Why has Martucci filed a federal lawsuit nearly two years after the incident?





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