The staff director for the D.C. City Council judiciary committee has filed a lawsuit against the District government and two city police officers, contending that he was falsely arrested and charged with a criminal offense in retaliation for his criticism of police conduct during an incident on upper 16th Street NW a year ago.

Gregory E. Mize alleges in the case that Officer Thomas Farley grabbed him around the neck after Mize interrupted a disorderly conduct arrest and told Farley that disorderly conduct was a "catchall" charge that was unfair under the circumstances. Officials said at the time of the incident that Mize pushed the officer, which Mize denied.

According to the suit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court, Mize was taken to the 4th District police station where Farley said he would be charged with disorderly conduct.

Mize said in court papers that when he told Farley he intended to stand trial "because he had done nothing wrong," Farley said he would charge him instead with assault, a more serious offense. Subsequently prosecutors refused to bring a case against Mize on either charge, court papers said.

The suit also alleges that when the police learned that Mize worked for D.C. Councilman David A. Clarke's judiciary committee, an unknown officer leaked the information to The Washington Post. Mize contends this was an invasion of his privacy. That officer, identified as "John Doe," is also named as a defendant in the case.

The suit asks that Mize be awarded at least $20,000 in damages and that his arrest record be destroyed.