Congressional Staffer Shut Out of Swearing-In

1,000 people turned away at inauguration gate

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2009  |  Updated 8:28 AM EDT
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A stream of people walks along I Street toward the <a title=National Mall" />

A stream of people walks along I Street toward the National Mall

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WASHINGTON -- A congressional staffer said he was among at least a thousand ticket-holders who were turned away at a gate for the inauguration ceremony.

Ryan Ford said he's "extremely disappointed" he didn't get to see the ceremony.

Ford works in California Rep. Loretta Sanchez's office. He'd been looking forward to the event for weeks and was in the purple gate line at 6 a.m. Tuesday as instructed, he said.

People were directed into the Third Street tunnel, where they waited until 10:30 a.m., Ford said. The line wasn't moving, and no official word was given why.

Ford finally got out of the tunnel with others and said he saw people "shuffling" back toward the Capital. Ford made his way to the shut gate, where people were screaming "Let us in!"

Ford ended up watching the inauguration at his office.

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