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A suburban Chicago CEO was among those arrested and accused of unlawfully entering the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday as part of a mob incited by President Donald Trump to disrupt the certification of the 2020 election.
Bradley Rukstales, CEO of marketing consultancy Cogensia, has reportedly acknowledged entering the Capitol during the riots.
“In a moment of extremely poor judgment following the Jan. 6 rally in Washington, I followed hundreds of others through an open set of doors to the Capitol building to see what was taking place inside,” he said in a statement, according to WBEZ, an NPR station in Chicago.
“My decision to enter the Capitol was wrong, and I am deeply regretful to have done so. Without qualification and as a peaceful and law-abiding citizen, I condemn the violence and destruction that took place in Washington."
Cogensia had placed him on a leave of absence, but by Friday evening, it issued a statement that the board of directors terminated him effective immediately.
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"This decision was made because Rukstales' actions were inconsistent with the core values of Cogensia," said Joel Schiltz, senior vice president and Chief Operating Officer who has been named acting CEO. "Cogensia condemns what occurred at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, and we intend to continue to embrace the values of integrity, diversity and transparency in our business operations, and expect all employees to embrace those values as well."
In 2020, Rukstales donated to several Republican candidates, including $2,600 to Trump's campaign, according to public records.
The Capitol Police confirmed that it arrested Rukstales on Wednesday on a charge of unlawful entry.
“I offer my sincere apologies for my indiscretion, and I deeply regret that my actions have brought embarrassment to my family, colleagues, friends and fellow countrymen," Rukstales said. "It was the single worst personal decision of my life; I have no excuse for my actions and wish that I could take them back.”
Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Chicago CEO arrested, apologizes for entering Capitol during riots