Ethics committee dismisses $5K fine against Huizenga for bypassing security screening

Melissa Nann Burke
The Detroit News

Washington — The U.S. House Ethics Committee has dismissed a $5,000 fine for U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga after he was dinged for bypassing a security screening outside the House chamber in late August.

Huizenga, R-Holland, had appealed the fine last month, with his office saying he had obeyed the House rules.

"We appreciate the committee resolving this and clearing up any misunderstanding," Huizenga spokesman Brian Patrick said. 

U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Holland

Huizenga had skipped the metal detector screening before heading into the Republican cloakroom in the House chamber around 7 p.m. Aug. 23, according to a U.S. Capitol Police notice at the time. An officer told him to undergo the screening, but Huizenga said he was "just dropping off some paperwork" and left three minutes later. 

Huizenga’s office contended the police report was inaccurate.

It was the first and only time Huizenga has been fined for bypassing security, according to his office.

The House Ethics Committee considered his appeal and issued a Monday statement  saying a majority of the committee had agreed Thursday to grant it, dismissing the fine.

The Holland Republican has repeatedly expressed frustration with security measures at the Capitol that were put in place under House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and security officials in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack on the building.

He has said the measures bordered on "political theater" and said the queue of lawmakers waiting to get through the metal detector screenings to enter the House chamber have caused members to miss or nearly miss votes.

Staff writer Riley Beggin contributed.