SALEM, Ore. – House Speaker Tina Kotek is calling for Rep. Mike Nearman to resign after surveillance footage showed him letting demonstrators into the Oregon State Capitol during a protest that turned violent back in December.
"Representative Nearman put every person in the Capitol in serious danger," Kotek said in a statement on Monday. "As we tragically saw last week during the insurrection at the United States Capitol, the consequences could have been much worse had law enforcement not stepped in so quickly. His actions have created immense fear among legislators and Capitol staff. I believe he should resign immediately because he has already breached the public trust and endangered our ability to safely conduct the people's business."
Kotek stripped him of his committee assignments and took back his commission appointments.
She's also sending him a $2,000 bill to cover the costs to fix the damage that resulted after he let the demonstrators inside.
On Dec. 21, Oregon lawmakers were holding the third special session of 2020, which sought to address COVID-19 and wildfire relief. A protest, organized by the far-right group Patriot Prayer, was there in opposition to statewide COVID-19 mandates.
Security footage showed Nearman leaving the building around 8:30 a.m. and letting protesters inside.
Nearman agreed to immediate safety measures, including giving up his badge access to the Capitol, and will provide 24 hours' notice each time he comes to the building.