Schaumberg CEO fired after storming U.S. Capitol

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(Brad Rukstales)

On the same day the U.S. Department of Justice filed charges in federal court against the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol building last Wednesday, Bradley Rukstales, a Schaumberg tech firm President and CEO, was fired for his role in the act of domestic terrorism.

Rukstales, 52, the head of data analytics marketing firm Cogensia and not an ANTIFA member, now faces two federal charges: 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.

The charges were announced by the U.S. Department of Justice a day after U.S. Capitol Police reported his arrest for unlawful entry.

The federal complaint, filed by Officer Joseph Bruno, claims Rukstales was at the front of a crowd near the door to the House atrium and refused orders by Capitol police officers to leave.

“In a loud and clear voice, Capitol Police Officers ordered the crowd to leave the building. The crowd did not comply, and instead responded by shouting and cursing at the Capitol Police Officers. I observed that the crowd, which at the time was located on the Upper Level of the United States Capitol Visitors Center near the door to the House Atrium, included the six individuals who were later identified to be Cindy Fitchett, Michael Curzio, Douglas Sweet, Terry Brown, Bradley Rukstales, and Thomas Gallgher.

These six individuals were positioned toward the front of the crowd, close to the Capitol Police Officers who were responding, and to the officer who issued the order to leave. The six individuals, like others in the larger crowd, willfully refused the order to leave.

The six individuals, Cindy Fitchett, Michael Curzio, Douglas Sweet, Terry Brown, Bradley Rukstales, and Thomas Gallgher, were removed from the crowd, placed in handcuffs, and arrested. Subsequently, Cindy Fitchett, Michael Curzio, Douglas Sweet, Terry Brown, Bradley Rukstales, and Thomas Gallgher were all issued Citations to Appear in the District
of Columbia Superior Court on a later date.”

Rukstales had originally been placed on a leave of absence by Cogensia, a customer marketing solutions firm, on Thursday, before the company’s board of directors decided to terminate him. Joel Schiltz, Cogensia’s senior vice president and chief operating officer, was named acting CEO.


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“This decision was made because Rukstales’ actions were inconsistent with the core values of Cogensia,” Schiltz said in a statement Friday. “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.” Read the full statement below:

Cogensia President and CEO Brad Rukstales has been terminated by the company’s Board of Directors effective immediately. Joel Schiltz, senior vice president and Chief Operating Officer of Cogensia has been named Acting CEO, providing business and operational continuity. Schiltz has more than 20 years of industry experience delivering data-driven marketing results to companies.

Schiltz noted, “This decision was made because 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.”

Rukstales, who resides in Inverness, released a statement calling it “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 Thursday. “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.

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


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Federal campaign finance records show Rukstales has been a big donor to President Donald Trump and Republican causes, having donated $25,000 to various committees in 2019 and 2020.

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Colin Costello is the West Coast Editor of Reel 360. Contact him at colin@reel360.com or follow him on Twitter at @colinthewriter1

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