WESTON (CBSMiami) – South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is breaking her silence on the arrest of a staff member who also worked for several other Democratic members of Congress.
Imran Awan is facing bank fraud charges and is reportedly at the center of a larger FBI investigation.
“He’s not my staffer, he no longer works for me,” Wasserman Schultz said. “And when he was arrested I terminated him.”
Wasserman Schultz is distancing herself from Awan, who was arrested by FBI agents last month before boarding a flight to Pakistan.
“I terminated him when he was arrested which meant process being followed. I think it’s important to point out what he was arrested and charged with is unrelated to his employment,” she said.
Awan was an IT specialist for several Democratic members of Congress. He was fired early this year when reports surfaced he might be involved in possible procurement theft.
He was kept on by Wasserman Schultz until July when he was charged with falsifying a home equity loan application and unlawfully transferring money to Pakistan.
Wasserman Schultz says she doesn’t know about Awan’s finances, but believes his family has been singled out for being Muslim.
“They were being persecuted, their children were bullied at school. They were experiencing the things I was concerned about in terms of racial, ethnic and religious profiling she brought her family to Pakistan,” Wasserman Schultz said.