AUGUSTA — Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck told a state lawmaker that security improvements are being considered for the Cross Office Building, which is connected by tunnel to the Maine State House.

Sauschuck wrote Thursday in response to concerns voiced by Democratic Rep. Michele Meyer of Eliot, who had an unsettling encounter nearly two years ago with a man who’s now charged with trying to storm the U.S. Capitol.

Meyer said the man, Kyle Fitzsimons, blocked her car in a parking space and asked her how she planned to vote on a gun safety bill. Two weeks later, he called out to her at the State House, where he attended a hearing on the bill, she wrote. The incidents happened in 2019.

There are security checks and metal detectors at the State House entrance, but that has not been the case at the Cross Office Building, where committees meet and several state agencies are located. Until recently, there were no checkpoints in the Cross building, but a metal detector was set up during recent concerns about election-related protests.

Meyer, who is the House chair of the Health and Human Services Committee, wrote in her January letter to Sauschuck that she “has been deeply concerned” about the lack of security in the Cross Office Building, given the dangers lawmakers now face because of their work, the Bangor Daily News reported.

“The absence of any security left me, my colleagues, staff and the thousands of Mainers who visit and participate in state government, vulnerable and unsafe,” she said. “Multiple entry points and no metal detectors or screening are an invitation for violence should someone have such an intent.”

Sauschuck responded that Meyer had raised “some valid points that mirror our concerns and we’re looking at options, short and long term, to better secure the State House complex for all those that visit and work in the area on a daily basis.”

Fitzsimons on Thursday waived his right to argue for bail until his case is moved to a federal court in Washington, D.C., where he is to stand trial on several charges linked to the Capitol rioting on Jan. 6.

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