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Tags: fact | jamaal bowman | house ethics | violation

Ethics Watchdog: Bowman Must Be Punished for Pulling Fire Alarm

By    |   Friday, 27 October 2023 11:09 AM EDT

A government watchdog group is calling for Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., to be punished for activating a fire alarm in a federal office building last month and disrupting congressional business.

In light of the video footage released and Bowman’s guilty plea on Thursday, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) said “the facts are now clear” regarding what happened on Sept. 30 in the Cannon Office Building.

“Along with his guilty plea, the video released today clearly shows Bowman’s actions were completely inconsistent with his prior statement that he ‘activated the fire alarm, mistakenly thinking it would open the door,’” FACT Executive Director Kendra Arnold said in a statement Thursday. “The video shows Bowman removing the signs from the door and then pulling the fire alarm as he was walking away from the door — he did NOT attempt to exit the building after pulling the alarm. The video and his guilty plea clearly demonstrate the story he told was an attempt to cover up his actions.”

The nonpartisan ethics watchdog filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics two weeks ago, requesting it investigate Bowman to determine whether his pulling the alarm violated federal law and House ethics rules.

On Thursday, Bowman, a member of “The Squad,” pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of triggering a fire alarm as House lawmakers scrambled to pass a funding bill to avert a looming government shutdown. Under an agreement with prosecutors, he will pay a $1,000 fine and serve three months of probation, after which the false fire alarm charge is expected to be removed from his record.

The office building was evacuated as House Democrats were attempting to delay a vote on a funding bill they said they needed more time to review. Republicans in the chamber had released the bill abruptly in an effort to keep the government open.

Arnold said now that “Bowman’s excuses have been disproven” and “the facts are known,” the issue becomes “what happens next.”

“Bowman’s actions are not only a criminal offense but also an ethics violation,” she said. “If a Member commits a crime while acting in his official capacity, this is a violation of the Ethics Code and is not conduct ‘reflecting credibility on the House’ (House Rule 23, clause 1). Clearly when a criminal offense is committed and brazen dishonesty is displayed, a Member’s conduct does not satisfy this ethics rule.

“In fact, a House resolution requires action by the House Ethics Committee whenever a Member is charged with felony or misdemeanor criminal conduct,” she continued. “In this case, the criminal conduct has not just been charged but guilt has been established in court proceedings. Not only must the Office of Congressional Ethics and House Ethics Committee act and enforce the ethics rules, but they must also impose a serious punishment to deter this type of behavior in the future.”

Nicole Wells

Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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A government watchdog group is calling for Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., to be punished for activating a fire alarm in a federal office building last month and disrupting congressional business. In light of the video footage released and Bowman's guilty plea on Thursday, the...
fact, jamaal bowman, house ethics, violation
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2023-09-27
Friday, 27 October 2023 11:09 AM
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