AP

Ex-Ohio court mediator arrested; allegedly sent feces to GOP

Aug 8, 2022, 10:30 AM | Updated: 10:48 am

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man is in custody after being accused of sending about three-dozen feces-filled letters to lawmakers around the country, including Ohio’s 25 Republican state senators in early July.

Police arrested Richard Steinle, a 77-year-old from Mogadore, Ohio, and former Portage County Common Pleas Court mediator on Friday. Steinle is charged with sending “injurious articles as nonmailable,” violating a federal law that prohibits mailing certain things, including hazardous material, according to court records.

The misdemeanor charge carries a maximum prison sentence of one year and a $100,000 fine. A message seeking comment was left with Steinle’s lawyer.

The feces mailed in early July prompted an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, but investigators said Steinle has been sending such letters since August 2021 to elected officials in Washington D.C., Kentucky, California and Ohio.

Mailroom employees in the Ohio Statehouse and post offices in Cleveland and Akron intercepted the 25 letters, which never made it to their intended recipients. The return addresses on the letters were deemed fake. Some letters contained words such as “pig” and “racist” on them, according to court records.

In late July, investigators for the U.S. Postal Inspection service conducted surveillance on Steinle’s home after a tip from another court employee that Steinle might be involved in sending the letters. Investigators witnessed Steinle mailing a letter while wearing a glove and after retrieving the letter, determined it to be contaminated with feces. The letter was addressed to Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, according to court records.

A message was left with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service seeking comment. It is not clear if the feces were human or animal.

Senate GOP spokesperson John Fortney called the incident in early July “outrageous” and a serious health risk.

“This type of biohazard attack doesn’t just stop with the people it’s directed towards,” Fortney said. “This is something that could potentially affect every single employee at the Ohio Statehouse, regardless of their political affiliation.”

Steinle was released on a $20,000 unsecured bond and his next hearing is set for Aug. 25.

___

Samantha Hendrickson is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Follow Samantha Hendrickson on Twitter.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Israeli Embassy...

Associated Press

US airman dies after setting himself ablaze outside Israeli Embassy in Israel-Hamas war protest

An active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force has died after he set himself ablaze outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C.

14 hours ago

Biden and Trump to visit Mexico border Thursday immigration...

Associated Press

Biden and Trump both plan trips to the Mexico border Thursday, dueling for advantage on immigration

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will make dueling trips to the U.S-Mexico border on Thursday.

15 hours ago

Arizona and New York attorneys feud over extraditing suspect...

Associated Press

Why Alvin Bragg and Rachel Mitchell are fighting over extraditing suspect in New York hotel killing

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell says she isn't into extraditing a suspect due to her lack of faith in Manhattan’s top prosecutor.

5 days ago

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018. A 34-year-old Color...

Associated Press

Colorado man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death by one of the desert lizards if the creature's venom turns out to have been the cause.

6 days ago

Police clear the area following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebr...

Associated Press

1 dead, many wounded after shooting at Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade

One person died after 22 people were hit by gunfire in a shooting at the end of the Kansas Chiefs' Super Bowl victory celebration Wednesday.

13 days ago

This image from House Television shows House Speaker Mike Johnson of La., banging the gavel after h...

Associated Press

GOP-led House impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas — by one vote — over border management

Having failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas the first time, House Republicans are determined to try again Tuesday.

14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

...

Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

Ex-Ohio court mediator arrested; allegedly sent feces to GOP