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Tech CEO Apologizes After His Arrest Over Capitol Hill Protests

“Turning digital data into profit,” is the slogan of Cognesia, a data analytics company whose client list includes Visa, Rolls-Royce, and Toys ‘R’ Us.

Now Variety reports:
Brad Rukstales, the chief executive of a Chicago-area company that provides data-marketing solutions, said he was arrested Wednesday after he entered the U.S. Capitol alongside a mob of pro-Trump rioters seeking to overturn the 2020 presidential election…

“Our CEO, Brad Rukstales, participated in the recent Washington DC protests,” Schaumburg, Illinois-based Cognesia said in a statement Thursday. “Those actions were his own and [and he was] not acting on behalf [of] Cogensia nor do his actions in any way reflect the policies or values of our firm…”

Rukstales, in his own statement posted on Twitter, apologized for what he called “the single worst personal decision of my life.”

“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,” Rukstales wrote. “I was arrested for the first time in my life and charged with unlawful entry.” He continued, “My decision to enter the Capitol was wrong, and I am deeply regretful to have done so,” adding that he “condemn[ed] the violence and destruction that took place in Washington.”

Twitter now reports that Cognesia’s account “no longer exists.” (This after their tweeted statement received dozens of unrelentingly negative comments.) Their LinkedIn profile includes a link to a more recent announcement that CEO Rukstales “has been terminated by the company’s Board of Directors effective immediately,” with their new CEO saying Rukstales’ actions “were inconsistent with the core values of Cogensia. 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.”

Thursday CEO Rukstales shared his memory of Wednesday’s events with a local news crew. “It was great to see a whole bunch of people together in the morning and hear the speeches, but it turned into chaos… I had nothing to do with charging anybody or anything or doing any of that. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and I regret my part in that.”

And Rukstales’ written apology is still online.

“Without qualification and as a peaceful and law-abiding citizen, I condemn the violence and destruction that took place in Washington,” Rukstales wrote. “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…”

“I have no excuse for my actions and I wish I could take them back.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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