Rep. Jamaal Bowman, a Democrat from New York, entered a guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge on Thursday in D.C. Superior Court for setting off a fire alarm in a House office building prior to a vote on government spending last month.
According to reports, Bowman, 47, handed himself in on Thursday morning following his accusation by Assistant Attorney General Peter Saba of D.C. on one misdemeanor count of setting off a fire alarm in the Cannon House Office Building without permission on September 30.
The lower house of Congress was about to vote on a spending bill to prevent a government shutdown last month when the fire alarm went off, temporarily stopping the process.
Bowman pulled the fire alarm, thinking it would unlock an exit door in the House building, and informed Capitol Police he was on his way to the vote.
Following the evacuation of the Cannon House Office Building due to a strong alarm, the Capitol Police launched an inquiry. The investigation led to a criminal referral to the prosecutor in D.C.
The D.C. Attorney General’s Office stated that although Bowman faces a possible sentence of six months in jail, he “is pleading guilty and has agreed to pay the maximum fine” of $1,000 and will formally apologize to the Capitol Police.
As per the plea agreement, prosecutors will drop the charge during a sentencing hearing on January 29 if Bowman follows the conditions of the agreement, which include three months of probation.