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Hoosier congressman fined $5,000 for not going through U.S. House metal detector
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Hoosier congressman fined $5,000 for not going through U.S. House metal detector

Jim Baird

U.S. Rep. Jim Baird, R-Greencastle, represents Newton and Jasper counties in the U.S. House.

A Hoosier congressman who represents part of Northwest Indiana has been fined $5,000 for failing to go through a metal detector immediately prior to entering the U.S. House chamber, according to Capitol Police.

Police said U.S. Rep. Jim Baird, R-Greencastle, whose House district includes Newton and Jasper counties, walked around the east lobby magnetometer and into the House chamber on Nov. 17, despite Baird being reminded by police he needed to go through the security screening.

Records show at least three Capitol Police officers witnessed Baird enter the House floor after being told by police he first needed to go through the metal detector.

Under House rules, a first violation of the House security screening policy incurs a $5,000 fine, as well as a referral to the House Ethics Committee and the speaker of the House, according to House Sergeant at Arms William Walker.

House Resolution 73 specifies a second or subsequent violation of the security screening policy triggers a $10,000 fine that must be paid directly by the member using personal funds or deducted from the member's paycheck; campaign funds cannot be used to pay any fines.

Katie Milner, a spokeswoman for Baird, said the two-term congressman and former four-term state representative will be appealing the fine.

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"(He) believes this is a misunderstanding that he looks forward to resolving with the Ethics Committee," Milner said.

Metal detectors were installed at the entrance to the House chamber following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of supporters loyal to Republican President Donald Trump.

Before the insurrection, members of Congress generally were allowed to bypass security screenings in most areas of the Capitol.

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