A Democratic staffer has been convicted of assault after decking a man who confronted the staffer for cutting a long bathroom line at a Washington sports bar.
Marc Goldberg, communications director for Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D-FL), was found guilty of simple assault in D.C. Superior Court in October for the August incident at Public Bar.
The altercation came to light this week after Roll Call reported that the matter was reviewed by the House ethics panel, which, under a new rule, is supposed to look at any incident in which a member of staffer is charged with a crime.
Here’s what happened, according to allegations by the government in court documents reviewed by TPM:
It was around midnight on a Friday night at Public Bar, located on the 1200 block at 18th street in Dupont Circle. The bar and club offers guests “the casual vibe and high energy of a neighborhood hotspot” but things were about to get overheated.
Goldberg “cut his way through the line for the bathrooms.” As he was leaving the restroom, a man waiting in line, Peter Murray, remarked: “That’s not right, you cut in front of everybody who was waiting.”
Goldberg then, according to the government, “punched [Murray] in the mouth with a closed right fist causing a deep laceration to [Murray’s] upper lip.” Three witnesses watched it happen. Murray refused medical assistance at the scene but told three uniformed officers — who were working a detail at the bar — that he was taking himself to the hospital.
For the assault conviction, Goldberg got a 45-day suspended sentence and one year of probation and he was ordered to pay court costs of $700 and attend an anger management class.
“I’m extremely sorry for my actions and I am working to make this right,” said Goldberg, in a statement provided by Kosmas’ office.
The ethics committee decided not to investigate the matter. Said Kosmas’ chief of staff, Leslie Pollner: “We are aware of the committee’s decision and Marc is fully complying with the terms of his punishment.”
(Additional reporting by Evan McMorris-Santoro)