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Legislator Threatens To Break With Columbus Over Vandalism

Jun 26, 2020

Red paint handprints were left on the Statehouse steps and gallery June 18th, 2020.
Credit Ohio Public Radio

Some state leaders are angry over damage at the Ohio Statehouse after police brutality protests – and one has suggested the state consider a form of secession from the City of Columbus.

Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.

Protestors have broken windows and damaged fixtures. And it took days to remove hand prints on the west columns and stairs left in red paint on June 18. Speaker Larry Householder said he’s considered withholding Columbus’ state funding to cover the cost of repairs, and now says he’s researching whether the Capitol Square area could be removed from Columbus city limits.

“I don’t know if that’s possible or not.”

But Senate President Larry Obhof says he’s talked to his fellow Republican leader about this.

“I think the more important issue, the underlying issue is that – I think he and I agree – that we need to do more to protect the Statehouse from vandalism.”

Obhof says he’s been assured by Democratic Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein that those who’ve committed vandalism will be prosecuted. State troopers are now visible at several points on Statehouse grounds.