The legislature in the western state of Oregon, Oregon, voted 59-1 on Thursday to remove a Republican lawmaker from office for his role in allowing right-wing protesters to trespass the capital during a protest against COVID-19 closures in December.
On the floor of the State House of Representatives late Thursday, Republicans voted with the majority of Democrats to remove Representative Mike Nearman, with the indifferent Nearman the only dissenting vote. He is the first legislator to be expelled from office in the 162-year history of the state.
A special two-party committee appointed by Democratic House Tina Kotek to consider the eviction also voted earlier in the day for the removal of Nearman and sent the measure to the entire House for consideration.
Oregon police are investigating the violation of state capital, which Nearman identified from a security video in which he can be seen leaving the capital through a closed door near where protesters gathered so they could enter. The capital was among the public buildings closed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The call for Nearman’s resignation – much of his own party – began about a week ago after a second video appeared showing Nearman advising potential protesters on how to get into the capital and giving them their phone number.
Commenting on the Oregon media after the vote, Speaker Kotek said Nearman’s eviction was “the only reasonable way forward.” She said: ‘The facts are clear that Mr. Nearman unapologetically coordinated and planned a violation of the Oregon State Capitol. His actions were blatant and deliberate, and he showed no remorse for endangering the safety of every person in the capital that day. ”
Nearman, who argued that he only wanted to allow the public into a public building that should not have been closed, also faces two criminal charges and said he would be tried by the jury.