Democratic Congressman Reaches Plea Deal for False Fire Alarm

Congressman Faces Criminal Charges for False Fire Alarm

( – Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) has had an unremarkable career representing New York’s 16th congressional district since 2021. However, all that changed on September 30, when he pulled a fire alarm while trying to depart the Cannon House Office Building. This happened as Democrats attempted to obstruct a vote on a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government funded ahead of a looming midnight deadline. New reports indicated that the junior congressman from New York finally had to face the consequences of his actions that fateful day.

Bowman quickly claimed he pulled the alarm accidentally. He told reporters he thought triggering the mechanism would “open the door.” Usually, they were left open, but since it was a weekend, they were locked.

Republican lawmakers accused Bowman of aiding and abetting Democratic-led efforts to sabotage the CR and suggested measures ranging from formal censure to expulsion from the US House. Then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) vowed to get to the bottom of the incident and dole out an appropriate punishment for the incident.

On October 25, media outlets exploded with the news that the United States Capitol Police charged Bowman with one count of falsely pulling a fire alarm, a misdemeanor. He faced a maximum of six months incarceration, a fine, and other minor penalties if convicted.

However, later that day, Axios reported that the congressman’s office issued a statement confirming that Bowman reached a plea agreement with prosecutors at the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia. A spokesperson for the DC Attorney General’s office confirmed the deal.

Bowman posted a statement on his X, formerly Twitter, account a few minutes later confirming the deal. He thanked the attorney general’s office for helping him quickly resolve the issue. He also expressed his gratitude that the US Capitol Police Department’s General Counsel’s Office agreed with his claim that he didn’t pull the fire alarm to “obstruct any House vote or proceedings.”

The New York congressman did admit to activating the alarm. He also confirmed that he agreed to pay a fine and was eager to “ultimately” have the charges “dropped.” Since that time, video has emerged showing the congressman removing emergency signs from the fire alarm prior to pulling it, seemingly destroying his claim of innocence.

On October 26, Bowman pleaded guilty to falsely pulling a fire alarm. He also agreed to pay a $1,000 fine and issue a formal apology.

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