Wasserman Schultz fires IT staffer following fraud arrest

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has fired an information technology staffer following his arrest on a bank fraud charge at a Virginia airport where he was attempting to fly to Pakistan.

Wasserman Schultz spokesman David Damron says Irman Awan was fired by the Florida Democrat on Tuesday.

Awan’s attorney, Chris Gowen, confirmed that his client was arrested at Dulles Airport on Monday. He says Awan was cleared to travel and had informed the House of his plans to visit his family before the scheduled trip.

The 37-year-old Awan of Lorton, Virginia, was arraigned Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on one count of bank fraud. He pleaded not guilty and was released pursuant to a high-intensity supervision program, including the restriction that he not travel beyond a 50-mile radius of his home, according to the court.

Gowen says the federal bank fraud count stems from a “modest real estate matter” and is motivated by anti-Muslim bigotry. He’s confident Awan “will soon be able to clear his name and get on with his life.”

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 21, according to Gowen.

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