A New Mexico county commissioner became the first public official to lose their job for participating in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol when a state judge on Tuesday ruled that the Republican violated the U.S. Constitution by engaging in an insurrection.

State District Court Judge Francis Mathew wrote in his decision that Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin, founder of a group called "Cowboys for Trump," violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution when he took part in the riot that left four people dead and 100 police officers injured, disqualifying him from holding local, state or federal office.

On Jan. 6, Griffin joined thousands of people at the Capitol. He breached security barriers outside of the building and eventually assumed a leadership role in the mob and egged on the violence, Mathew said in his ruling.

Griffin "incited, encouraged and helped normalize the violence," Mathew wrote. Griffin's actions were "overt acts in support of the insurrection."

Griffin is the first elected official to be removed from office for their involvement in the riot. The ruling also marks the first time a judge has ruled that the incident was an insurrection and the first time since 1869 that a judge has removed a public official under Section 3.

"This is a historic win for accountability for the January 6th insurrection and the efforts to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power in the United States," said Noah Bookbinder, the president of the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), an ethics watchdog that filed a lawsuit against Griffin, calling for his removal.

Griffin told Reuters that he plans to appeal the ruling, saying Mathew did not have jurisdictional standing to remove him from office.

"I was shocked by the response from the court. It's a real disgrace towards our democracy," he said during a brief phone interview. "This is very evident of the tyranny that is raising its head up in our country."

Leading up to Jan. 6, Griffin and his organization helped mobilize the "Stop the Steal" movement that falsely claimed Donald Trump's election defeat in 2020 was the result of widespread fraud, an assertion rejected by multiple courts, state election officials and members of his own administration, Mathew wrote.

Griffin was sentenced in federal court in June to 14 days in jail over his role in the riot, two months after he was convicted in a bench trial of a misdemeanor count of entering and remaining on restricted grounds on Jan. 6, 2021.