Ethics committee drops Jamaal Bowman fire alarm investigation

The House Ethics committee has dropped the investigation into Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y. (L), for pulling a Capitol fire alarm last fall when there was no fire. The committee said an intervening censure by the House and Bowman's guilty plea to a misdemeanor rendered the issue moot. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI

Jan. 26 (UPI) -- The House Ethics Committee has dropped the investigation into Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., for triggering a fire alarm when there was no fire at the Capitol last fall.

The committee released a joint statement from Chair Rep. Michael Guest, R-Miss., and ranking Democratic member Rep. Susan Wild, D-Penn., that said, "In light of the House's intervening censure of Representative Bowman, the Committee determined that further review of Representative Bowman's conduct would be moot. The Committee has separately confirmed that Representative Bowman has complied with the relevant terms of his deferred sentencing agreement."

Bowman was censured by the House for his conduct Dec. 7, 2023. Bowman pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of willfully and knowingly pulling a false fire alarm.

He said he accidentally pulled it.

The Ethics Committee declined to investigate the incident in November but got a referral from the Office of Congressional Ethics urging a review.

According to the joint statement from the Ethics Committee, the independent Office of Congressional Ethics had unanimously recommended that the Ethics committee review the incident but dismiss allegations that Bowman had tried to impede congressional operations.

The committee said Bowman paid a $1,000 fine and wrote an apology letter to Capitol Police. He also was sentenced to three months probation for the misdemeanor.

Capitol Police security cameras recorded Bowman trying to go through locked doors in the Cannon House Office Building on Sept. 30.

He tried the locked doors, turned to his left and pulled the fire alarm. He then quickly left the area, according to Capitol Police.