SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A Republican state lawmaker who authorities say let violent protesters into the Oregon Capitol in December says he is ill with COVID-19.
Rep. Mike Nearman said on a conservative radio talk show that he has a really bad case of COVID and is on the mend a little bit. Nearman faces a hearing in Marion County Circuit Court on Tuesday on charges of official misconduct in the first degree and criminal trespass in the second degree for the Dec. 21 breach of the state Capitol by people protesting coronavirus restrictions.
Oregon Capitol surveillance video from the Dec. 21 protest showed how Nearman left the building during a special legislative session to address COVID-19-related challenges, allowing right-wing protesters inside the building. Four people were arrested that day.
Once inside the building, the protesters clashed with Oregon State Police troopers, the video shows. Video surveillance of outside the building showed Nearman then walked around the Oregon Capitol building before entering it again.Rep. Nearman defends opening Capitol door for protesters
Nearman was stripped of his committee assignments by House Speaker Tina Kotek, who also asked him to resign, in January amid the investigation.
He’s slated to be arraigned on the charges on May 11, according to court documents.
Nearman says he will seek a jury trial.
KOIN 6 News contributed to this story by The Associated Press.