Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and agreed to pay a fine on Thursday, four weeks after he pulled a fire alarm at a U.S. Capitol office building just before a crucial vote.
“What I did was against D.C. law,” Bowman told reporters before appearing in D.C. Superior Court, according to The Hill. “I got to take responsibility for it.”
Under an agreement with prosecutors, Bowman will pay a $1,000 fine and write an apology to the Capitol Police, The Hill reported.
The criminal charge of falsely pulling a fire alarm — which carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail — will then be withdrawn in three months.
Last month, lawmakers were preparing to vote on a bill to fund the government ahead of a looming shutdown when Bowman pulled a fire alarm in the Cannon House Office Building, forcing the evacuation of the building.
Bowman quickly admitted to pulling the alarm but said he did so by mistake, thinking it would open a locked door.
He was accused of attempting to sabotage the vote by Republicans, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.
Let me show you how easy it is to exit the Cannon building if doors are closed for the weekend.
No need to pull a fire alarm, you simply have to walk down some steps.
Jamaal Bowman knew what he was doing. He was trying to interrupt the vote.
Bowman needs to be arrested and… pic.twitter.com/PQuI6kk0sX
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene?? (@RepMTG) October 2, 2023
On Wednesday, Bowman reiterated that he “did not obstruct nor intend to obstruct any House vote or proceeding.”
“I am responsible for activating a fire alarm, I will be paying the fine issued, and look forward to these charges being ultimately dropped,” he said in a statement.
He also took a shot at Republicans.
“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,” he concluded.
Statement from Congressman Jamaal Bowman pic.twitter.com/n4NT5k0vjt
— Congressman Jamaal Bowman (@RepBowman) October 25, 2023
Bowman told reporters after the Thursday hearing that the fire alarm saga was “pretty embarrassing.”
“I really regret that this caused so much confusion and that people had to evacuate, and I just caused a disturbance,” he said. “I hate that.”
Republicans introduced a motion to censure Bowman on Wednesday, The Hill reported.
Bowman was also accused of ethics violations related to the fire alarm incident in a complaint filed this month by the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.