Marion County Circuit Court Judge Cheryl Pellegini heard and saw something that District 23 residents have been holding their breath to hear. Former Representative Mike Nearman admitting his guilt.
This morning, Nearman pleaded guilty to one charge – first-degree official misconduct – so that his second charge – criminal trespassing – would be dropped. His punishment was set at an 18 month ban from the Capitol grounds, $2,900 in fines and restitution – which includes the money owed for repairs following his allowing demonstrators into the Oregon Capitol on December 21, and 80 hours of community service.
As reported at OPB.com, “Nearman maintained some of the defiance he’s shown since his role in the incursion was revealed in January.” The defiance was obvious when he was asked to detail his actions and replied that he “opened a door in the Capitol. I went out. And that allowed people, citizens to enter the Capitol.”
When asked to speak to his intent to hurt others in his actions, Nearman continued to claim that his actions were simply to allow Oregon citizens their rights to see their lawmakers work.
When pressed by Pellegini, Nearman added, “One other benefit to me was that it provided the appearance that I was helping citizens enter the Capitol. That would make me appear favorable to certain citizen groups.”
Nearman continues to claim that he had no idea what demonstrators would do once they were inside the building.