Rep. Bowman faces misdemeanor charge in fire alarm pulled in House office building
Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman was charged Wednesday with a misdemeanor for triggering a fire alarm as lawmakers scrambled to pass a funding bill before a government shutdown deadline in September.
The alarm prompted an evacuation of a House office building. It reopened an hour later after Capitol Police determined it was not a threat.
The New York lawmaker acknowledged pulling the alarm, telling reporters hours later that it was a mistake. He said he was rushing to get to votes and trying to get through a door that is usually open.
At the time of the evacuation House Democrats were working to delay a vote on a funding bill to keep federal agencies open. They had said they needed time to review a bill that Republicans abruptly released to avoid a shutdown.
Bowman spoke with News 12's Jonathan Gordon and released the following statement: "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. 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."
Bowman made an agreement with the D.C. attorney general that entails withdrawing any charges in three months if the congressman provides a formal apology to the Capitol police and pays a $1,000 fine for wrongly pulling a fire alarm.