Oregon lawmaker accused of unlocking state Capitol door for protesters faces misdemeanor charges

Oregon Republican state Rep. Mike Nearman, who was accused of allowing protesters into the closed state Capitol building in December 2020 while lawmakers were debating Covid-19 restrictions, is now facing two misdemeanor charges according to court records.

Posted: May 3, 2021 9:23 AM


An Oregon state lawmaker accused of allowing protesters into the closed state Capitol building while lawmakers were debating Covid-19 restrictions is now facing two misdemeanor charges.

Republican Rep. Mike Nearman was charged Friday with first-degree official misconduct and second-degree criminal trespass, according to court records.

A charging document obtained by Oregon Public Broadcasting accuses Nearman of "unlawfully and knowingly perform(ing) an act which constituted an unauthorized exercise of his official duties, with intent to obtain a benefit or to harm another."

According to court records, Nearman is due to be arraigned on May 11.

Surveillance video at the Capitol showed Nearman leaving the building on December 21 through a locked door that was surrounded by anti-restriction protesters, which allowed the protesters to pour into the building.

Protesters were not able to enter the main chamber, but there was a physical confrontation with officers during which Oregon State Police said, "a protester sprayed some kind of chemical irritant."

After the charges were filed, Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek, a Democrat, called for Nearman to resign, writing on Twitter, "Rep. Nearman put every person in the Capitol in serious danger and created fear among Capitol staff and legislators."

The offices of the Marion County District Attorney and Nearman were both closed Saturday. Neither responded to emails from CNN Saturday requesting comment.

After the surveillance video was initially released, Nearman said in a written statement, "I don't condone violence nor participate in it. I do think that when ... the Oregon Constitution says that the legislative proceedings shall be 'open,' it means open, and as anyone who has spent the last nine months staring at a screen doing virtual meetings will tell you, it's not the same thing as being open."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 189986

Reported Deaths: 2522
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Multnomah37678580
Washington25188229
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Clackamas17016209
Lane12744145
Jackson10681133
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Umatilla813184
Linn477467
Yamhill438275
Klamath426061
Polk369152
Malheur349161
Josephine329668
Douglas321770
Benton301619
Jefferson216234
Coos204633
Columbia169526
Union144323
Lincoln136720
Wasco136628
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Morrow109915
Crook105720
Clatsop9698
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Curry6409
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Grant5065
Lake4447
Harney3368
Wallowa1805
Gilliam581
Sherman581
Wheeler281
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Cases: 3755869

Reported Deaths: 62220
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles123515023991
Riverside2990644587
San Bernardino2964254683
San Diego2775333718
Orange2706255000
Santa Clara1187922085
Kern1089681367
Sacramento1041761672
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Ventura808421011
San Joaquin730091391
Contra Costa68437802
Stanislaus618591055
Tulare49554839
Monterey43563382
San Mateo41802568
San Francisco36599543
Santa Barbara34291453
Solano32752249
Merced31743458
Sonoma29966318
Imperial28311720
Kings22948246
Placer22550290
San Luis Obispo21282260
Madera16430242
Santa Cruz16188206
Marin14030228
Yolo13871209
Shasta12071226
Butte11929198
El Dorado10111112
Napa984681
Sutter9411111
Yuba622146
San Benito604563
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Tehama555358
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Tuolumne412364
Mendocino406149
Humboldt393539
Amador365047
Lake346543
Glenn238025
Colusa223016
Siskiyou218123
Calaveras212153
Inyo142638
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