“Oregon State Police (OSP) has confirmed and informed us that Rep. Mike Nearman has opened the door to allow protesters to enter the building,” Oregon House President Tina Kotek said Thursday in a statement on the Capitol security plan.
A spokesman for the state police confirmed to CNN that Kotek’s statement was true, but gave no further details about the investigation or whether Nearman could face charges.
CNN went to Nearman’s office but received no response.
The December 21 Oregon breach came as the state legislature convened in Salem for a special one-day session on relief offerings for Covid-19 and summer wildfires.
According to OSP reports, shortly after the incident, several protesters entered the Capitol area around 8:30 a.m. as unidentified individuals at the time opened their doors and left.
As the group moved into the main meeting room, they were confronted by OSP and Salem police in uniform, according to OSP. The altercation turned out to be physical and the boss used the “Pepper Peak deposit” to keep the group going.
One protester denounced the chemicals as irritating to the authorities, and another used a smoke detector.
After several warnings by police to leave the building, the two refused and were detained. Four protesters were arrested later that day. Police recently announced that protesters are gathering false.
Nearman has been in service since 2015. He was re-elected in November by more than 20 votes.
“The actions of a Nearman representative are totally unacceptable,” Kotek said. “It’s serious, and his behavior is reckless and dangerous.”
Kotek said Nearman is likely to face disciplinary action in parliament, no matter what the OSP decides.
“We are looking at our options on how we can address his actions,” she said. “We are waiting for the next step in the criminal investigation, but we are not waiting for a conclusion at this point.”
CNN’s Andy Rose, Kay Jones and Konstantin Toropin contributed to this report.