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Itemizer-Observer report

SALEM — Former Oregon state representative Michael Nearman pled guilty to the crime of first-degree official misconduct on Tuesday.

The conviction stems from an incident that occurred on Dec. 21, 2020, when Nearman, then a member of the Oregon House of Representatives, intentionally allowed protesters into the Oregon State Capitol at a time when the building was closed to the public.

Once inside, the protesters fought with law enforcement officers and caused damage to the building.

According to the Marion County District Attorney’s Office, Judge Cheryl Pellegrini sentenced Nearman to 18 months of bench probation, 80 hours of community service work, a payment of $2,700 in restitution for the damage caused to the building and ban from the Oregon State Capitol and its grounds.

A charge of criminal trespass in the second degree was dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

“This plea and sentencing concludes an embarrassing and disgraceful event in our state’s history,” Marion County District Attorney Paige Clarkson said in a statement. “I am thankful that no members of law enforcement, or anyone else were seriously injured as a result of Mr. Nearman’s irresponsible actions. Additionally, I am grateful to the Oregon State Police for their complete and thorough investigation that led to this conviction.”

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