By News-Register staff • 

House expels Representative Nearman

For the first time in state history, the Oregon House voted to expel one of its members on Thursday, removing State Rep. Mike Nearman from office, after a video surfaced that showed him explaining how he would let far right protestors into the locked-down Capitol last December, when the Legislature was in session.

Nearman is also facing two criminal misdemeanor charges for his actions.

He refused to step down, in defiance of requests from his colleagues, and cast the lone vote against his expulsion.

The News-Register was unable to reach Nearman for comment.

Nearman, whose district encompasses Polk County, part of Yamhill County and parts of Benton and Marion counties, is not barred, however, from either being re-appointed or running for office again. His term expires in 2022. County commissioners in his four districts will vote on a list of potential candidates to serve out the remainder of his term, provided by precint leaders. Nearman has served in the Legislature since 2015.

State Rep. Ron Noble told the News-Register that he was disappointed by Nearman’s actions.

Like his Republican colleagues, Noble has been largely silent since December. He told the News-Register that “The initial video that came out was concerning but without knowing any potential reasons or intent,” he thought it wise to wait for the Legislative and criminal investigations to be completed.

In addition, Noble said, “I was in a unique position, being co-chair of the conduct commission, not to weigh in or come to any conclusions regarding the conduct before me.”

However, he said, the new video that had surfaced “appears to be something that removed all doubt whether it was intended or error or what.”

In the video Nearman explained exactly how protestors would be able to contact him to be let into the Capitol, and provided his cell phone number, although he claimed the number wasn’t real, and said he would deny knowing anything about what he called “Operation Hall Pass.”

Noble said he has not spoken with Nearman, and does not know whether he plans to seek continued involvement in politics.

Noble said that he understands that Nearman was upset with the Legislature’s decision to close the Capitol, requiring obeservers to watch Legislative sessions or offer testimony remotely, but said that Nearman should have handled his frustration differently.

The proper way to challenge that would be through the court process … not to breach the Capitol.

“There are ways we can work within the system to better the system; if we would just listen to each other, we can do what’s best for the state of Oregon,” Noble said.



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