Oregon rep. accused of allowing protestors into Capitol charged with misdemeanors
An Oregon state lawmaker was charged Friday with two misdemeanors over allegations that he held the state Capitol’s door open for protestors in December, according to court records obtained by Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB).
Rep. Mike Nearman (R) was charged with first-degree official misconduct, a class A misdemeanor, and second-degree criminal trespass, a class C misdemeanor.
The documents state Nearman “unlawfully and knowingly” aided in allowing far-right protestors, some of whom were armed with rifles and pepper spray, to enter the statehouse while lawmakers inside carried out a special session on COVID-19 regulations.
At least three people involved in the Oregon Capitol protest were active participants during the Washington, D.C., Capitol riots on Jan. 6, OPB notes.
The charges come after Nearman faced calls to step down when surveillance footage surfaced of the incident days after the deadly attack on the nation’s Capitol.
He was stripped of committee assignments and forced to pay $2,000 to make up for damages caused by the protesters.
“His actions have created immense fear among legislators and Capitol staff,” Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek (D) previously said in a statement.
The Jan. 6 Capitol riots in D.C. left several people dead including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died from injuries he sustained combatting rioters.