The CEO of a data analytics firm who was arrested during the U.S. Capitol riot has been terminated from his role, the company announced Friday.
Bradley Rukstales was the CEO of Schaumburg-based Cogensia, which first acknowledged his arrest in a statement on social media and said he had been on leave while they "asses further." Then on Friday, the company announced he had been terminated by the Board of Directors "effective immediately."
Joel Schiltz, senior vice president and Chief Operating Officer of Cogensia, has been named Acting CEO.
"This decision was made because Rukstales' actions were inconsistent with the core values of Cogensia," Schlitz said in a statement. "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."
Rukstales, of Inverness, was charged Thursday with "knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; or knowingly, with intent to impede government business or official functions, engaging in disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds."
He was among 13 charged with various federal offenses, many for unlawful entry, according to the Department of Justice. Additionally, about 40 others have been arrested and charged with crimes including unlawful entry, curfew violations and firearms-related crimes.
“The lawless destruction of the U.S. Capitol building was an attack against one of our Nation’s greatest institutions,” Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin said in a statement. “My office, along with our law enforcement partners at all levels, have been expeditiously working and leveraging every resource to identify, arrest, and begin prosecuting these individuals who took part in the brazen criminal acts at the U.S. Capitol. We are resolute in our commitment to holding accountable anyone responsible for these disgraceful criminal acts, and to anyone who might be considering engaging in or inciting violence in the coming weeks – know this: you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Rukstales appeared to address his involvement in a statement on Twitter, saying "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 called it "the single worst decision of my life" and said he regrets taking part.
NBC Chicago could not independently reach Rukstales to verify the remarks.
Rukstales was one of two suburban men arrested and charged during the riot aimed at thwarting a peaceful transfer of power Wednesday, authorities said.
David Fitzgerald, of Roselle, also faces charges of unlawful entry and a curfew violation, according to Metropolitan police. Fitzgerald was not among the 13 charged in federal court Thursday.
Fitzgerald's wife told NBC 5 her husband was there "to support [President Donald Trump" and was "just trying to leave" when he was arrested. She claimed he did not take part in the storming of the Capitol building.
A Chicago real estate agent, who was at the scene that day, was also fired from @properties after posting on social media about her attendance.
@properties said in a statement that agent Libby Andrews was in Washington, D.C., during the riots at the U.S. Capitol and has since been terminated "effective immediately."
The company said Andrews "acknowledged on social media that she took part in 'storming the Capitol.'"
Andrews told Crain's Chicago Business that she was not part of the violence and was with a different crowd on another side of the Capitol building. She told the publication she "never saw anything destructive taking place,” but that the group she was in sang the national anthem and Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It."
Photos: Pro-Trump Supporters Breach the Capitol Building
U.S. Capitol Police, who are charged with protecting Congress, turned to other law enforcement for help with the mob that overwhelmed the complex and sent lawmakers into hiding. Both law enforcement and Trump supporters deployed chemical irritants during the hourslong occupation of the complex before it was cleared Wednesday evening.
Four people died, one of them a woman from San Diego who was shot and killed inside the Capitol. Three other people died after suffering “medical emergencies” related to the breach, said Robert Contee, chief of the city’s Metropolitan Police Department. A U.S. Capitol Police officer died from injuries Friday.
Pro-Trump rioters who invaded the building also stole at least two laptops and one iPad from the offices of three Democratic lawmakers.