Feces, assumed to be human, sent to Ohio GOP senators through mail
A federal investigation is now launched
The Ohio Statehouse. Photo by Jake Zuckerman, Ohio Capital Journal.
The following article was originally published on News5Cleveland.com and is published in the Ohio Capital Journal under a content-sharing agreement. Unlike other OCJ articles, it is not available for free republication by other news outlets as it is owned by WEWS in Cleveland.
An investigation is underway after each of the Ohio GOP senators were mailed feces; however, the envelopes were intercepted Thursday before reaching the lawmakers.
The Statehouse mail room received most of the excrement-filled letters, but the Cleveland and Akron post offices intercepted a few. The return addresses were fake, Senate GOP spokesperson John Fortney told News 5.
“We’re assuming human,” Fortney said, after being asked by News 5’s Morgan Trau if the feces came from a human or an animal.
The whole situation is ridiculous, he added.
“I’m really angry about it,” Fortney said. “These are a bunch of little scared, little cowards that wouldn’t say s*** or a thing to you face-to-face, right, they would rather send it in the mail.”
The U.S. Postal Inspector is investigating this federal crime, he added.
“The OHP has been notified, and as always, the safety of all 33 members of the Senate, their staff and statehouse employees remains a priority,” he said.
There were no certain public policy issues, like abortion or gun access, written in the letter, Fortney said, but he doesn’t know if there were any threats or expletives targeting the legislators.
State Sen. Kristina Roegner, a Republican from Hudson, told News 5 that she trying to be understanding.
“There are other things going on and I don’t want to make myself seem like a victim,” she said. “I understand that people are very passionate right now.”
A few Republicans told News 5 they are assuming the feces envelopes line up with Roegner’s six-week abortion ban going into effect.
“This is a highly charged and emotional issue, there’s passion on both sides,” the lawmaker continued. “But we need to engage in civil discourse.”
This calls into consideration the safety of not only the elected members of the Senate, but their staffers and every employee of the Ohio Statehouse, Fortney said.
It reminded the spokesperson of when anthrax attacks happened through the mail after 9/11.
“You’re talking about any type of biohazard, and also, what if this had been blood that was contaminated with hepatitis C or some other contaminant and people were exposed to it?” he said. “It was just uncalled for.”
There are some companies online that let anyone send feces through the mail discreetly, but Fortney didn’t know if they were looking into that.
The Statehouse team is determining if there will be heightened security measures for the staff.
As of right now, only the senators received the feces, not the representatives, Fortney said. That would probably take a lot more time and be a lot more expensive.
Follow WEWS statehouse reporter Morgan Trau on Twitter and Facebook.
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