Lawmaker charged for opening Oregon Capitol doors to protesters a no-show at first hearing


State Rep. Mike Nearman was seen opening the Oregon Capitol doors to right-wing protesters on Dec. 21, 2020

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — State Rep. Mike Nearman, the Oregon lawmaker who was caught on surveillance video opening the Oregon Capitol doors to right-wing protesters in December of last year, did not show for his arraignment on charges related to the incident on Tuesday.

Rep. Nearman (R-Independence) was charged with official misconduct and criminal trespass following the Oregon State Police’s investigation into his role in a riot on Dec. 21, 2020. Jason Short, Nearman’s lawyer, did not enter a plea on his behalf.

The next hearing was scheduled for June 29 in which Nearman must appear in person or remotely, according to court documents. Moreover, Nearman will not be allowed to leave the state without the court’s permission.

Nearman was charged with first-degree official misconduct and second-degree criminal trespass, according to court records filed by the Marion County district attorney’s office in late April. Both charges are misdemeanors.

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.

Nearman was stripped of his committee assignments by House Speaker Tina Kotek, who also asked him to resign, in January amid the investigation.

Last week, Nearman told a conservative radio talk show host that he has a really bad case of COVID and is “on the mend a little bit.” His current condition is unclear.

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