Former Oregon state Rep. Mike Nearman pleaded guilty on Tuesday to official misconduct after he allowed armed protesters into the state capitol, CNN reports.
Nearman was sentenced to 18 months of probation, 80 hours of community service, and was banned from the state Capitol.
He was also ordered to pay $2,700 to cover the cost of the damage the protesters caused to the building.
In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors dropped a second charge of criminal trespassing.
“I had no intention of harming anyone,” Nearman insisted at Tuesday’s hearing. “I suppose that the benefit would have been that I think the citizens were allowed to be in the Capitol, so I was letting them in.”
“I don’t support what they did once they entered,” he added.
Nearman previously vowed that he would demand a jury trial but relented after video evidence was released.
Caught on tape:
A security video showed Nearman allowing protesters into the building before police and security personnel rushed to push them out.
A more damning video was released earlier this summer showing Nearman planning with supporters to allow them into the building where lawmakers were holding a special session.
“One other benefit to me was that it provided the appearance that I was helping citizens enter the Capitol,” Nearman acknowledged in court on Tuesday. “That would make me appear favorable to certain citizen groups.”
First lawmaker to be expelled:
Nearman earlier this year became the first lawmaker to ever be expelled from the Oregon legislature after every Republican in the chamber called on him to resign.
"Given the newest evidence that has come to light regarding the events of December 21, 2020, it is our belief as friends and colleagues that it is in the best interests of your caucus, your family, yourself, and the state of Oregon for you to step down from office," state GOP lawmakers said in a letter after the second video was released.