October 5, 2022

An elderly Ohio man was arrested Friday for allegedly sending more than 36 excrement-filled letters to state leaders, including Rep. Jim Jordan.

Richard John Steinle, 77, a former Portage County bailiff, allegedly sent the letters to all 25 Republican members of the state Senate, as well as other GOP officials, including Jordan, between August 2021 and July 29, according to Cleveland.com.

Mr. Steinle has been charged in federal court with sending “injurious articles” through the mail, a misdemeanor that can carry a $100,000 fine and up to a year in prison.

The independent Mr. Steinle’s public defender was contacted for comment.

Authorities say the letters often accused their recipients of being a “pig” or “racist.” Specifically, Mr. Jordan contained a $1 bill and a greeting card.

The independent MP contacted for comment.

The authorities were able to find Mr. Steinle, who was released this week on $20,000 bond, after a former colleague tipped them off.

Mr. Steinle allegedly used a variety of return addresses when sending his threatening letters, including ones that matched the Ohio 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the FBI’s Akron office and the home of an appeals court staff member.

The appeals court clerk told officials that Mr. Steinle had a grudge against them for not helping him in a lawsuit and that the former mediator may have been involved in sending the letters. The former colleague also said Mr. Steinle thought the government was watching him.

Postal inspectors then watched the 77-year-old last month as he donned a glove and dropped off his letter to Representative Jordan. Ohio officials reacted with a mixture of amusement and disgust at the letters.

In July, Ohio Senate spokesman John Fortney said News 5 the whole situation was “ridiculous”.

“I’m very angry about it,” Fortney told the report. “They’re a bunch of scared little cowards who wouldn’t talk to you or anything face to face, right? They’d rather send it in the mail.”

said Republican Sen. Jay Hottinger The Columbus Dispatch The letters were “crass and stupid, immaturity at its highest”, before calling the incident “another miserable day”.

Mr Steinle, whose next court appearance is on August 25, was fired from his position in 2017 after more than 17 years in the job. He was fired after writing a letter to the editor at a local newspaper in 2016 without the approval of his superiors.

The ombudsman disputed the firing, saying the letter was protected speech. He and his former employer later reached a confidential settlement.

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