By Stacy M. Brown,
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
(NNPA NEWSWIRE) – New York Democrat Rep. Jamaal Bowman, charged with falsely activating the fire alarm at a congressional office building before last month’s vote on a stopgap spending measure to fund the government, pleaded guilty on Oct. 26.
“I’m thankful for the quick resolution from the District of Columbia Attorney General’s office on this issue and grateful that the United States Capitol Police General Counsel’s office agreed I did not obstruct nor intend to obstruct any House vote or proceedings,” Bowman said ahead of his plea. “I am responsible for activating a fire alarm, I will be paying the fine issued, and look forward to these charges being ultimately dropped. I think we all know that Republicans will attempt to use this to distract everyone from their mess, but I look forward to putting this behind me and to continue working hard to deliver for New Yorkers.”
The office of the D.C. attorney general confirmed in a statement that Bowman “is pleading guilty and has agreed to pay the maximum fine.”
According to court documents, surveillance footage examined by the Capitol Police shows Bowman allegedly looking at the doors that read “Emergency Exit Only Push Until Alarm Sounds.” According to the complaint, Bowman pulled the alarm and later allegedly walked by Capitol Police officers without alerting them.
“At approximately 1208 hours, the defendant enters the United States Capitol Building and while showing his credentials, he walks by two USCP officers who are posted at the inside entrance, staffing the metal detector,” the complaint said.
“We finished our investigation. Our agents gathered all the evidence, packaged it up, and sent the entire case with charges to prosecutors for their consideration,” the United States Capitol Police said in a separate statement.
Bowman admitted to pulling the alarm, saying it was an accident. “I was rushing to make a vote,” he asserted in an ABC News interview. “I didn’t know it would trigger the whole building.”