House Democrats fire IT staffers under investigation by Capitol Hill police

Two IT staffers who have been under investigation by Capitol Hill police for a month were fired this week by two House Democrats. Politico reports:

Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) confirmed to Politico that Hina Alvi’s last day as an IT support staffer in his office was Tuesday. Her husband, Imran Awan, was working for Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) as of Tuesday evening, but a spokeswoman for Fudge said midday Wednesday that Awan was no longer an employee.

As of Wednesday, Awan was still working as a technology adviser for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), although he’s been blocked from accessing the House computer system since early February.

Alvi, Awan and three other House aides, including Abid Awan and Jamal Awan, relatives of Imran Awan, and Rao Abbas, are all linked to the criminal investigation being conducted by the U.S. Capitol Police.

A previous Politico report describes what the investigation is about:

Five House employees are under criminal investigation amid allegations that they stole equipment from more than 20 member offices and accessed House IT systems without lawmakers’ knowledge.

The Daily Caller adds, “Investigators found that congressional information was being copied to an off-site server.” It’s not clear that there was anything nefarious going on with regard to the computer access. Capitol Hill police are not commenting on the ongoing investigation so it’s possible the main focus here is the alleged theft of equipment. The Daily Caller describes a complex financial history among the individuals being investigated, including a failed car dealership which led to a lawsuit and a declaration of bankruptcy.

Despite firing Hina Alvi, Rep. Meeks told Politico, “I have seen no evidence that they were doing anything that was nefarious.” As for Rep. Fudge, Tuesday she promised Imran Awan would receive “due process” but then Wednesday a spokesperson announced he had been fired.

This investigation has been going on for a month. Why the sudden decision to fire both Alvi and Awan in the last 24 hours? Are the police about to announce the results of their investigation? That seems like a plausible explanation, but if bad news is coming why hasn’t Wasserman-Schultz fired Awan as well?

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