A number of Ohio House of Representative members received letters in September that contained aggressive and threatening letters, according to an email obtained by 10TV News.
The email sent out by the Republican Caucus legal counsel to House members was dated Sept. 22. It said that the letters were delivered by the U.S. Postal Service and were sent by a group calling itself the "Army of the 12 Monkeys,” a reference to the 1995 film “12 Monkeys.”
The Ohio State Highway Patrol confirmed to 10TV News that six letters were received by House members between Sept. 20 and Sept. 23.
Rep. Jay Hottinger, a Republican from Newark, said that he is familiar with the investigation.
“This is certainly something that raised serious concerns,” Hottinger said.
Hottinger told 10TV News that the letters named legislators and their families.
“For most of us who have children, that’s much more significant than when they’re just making threats to selves,” Hottinger said.
The email said that Ohio House Speaker, Republican William Batchelder, was taking the threats very seriously and said the House Sergeant at arms was working with the Ohio State Highway Patrol to investigate the letters.
Speaker Batchelder would not comment on the threatening letters when asked by 10TV.
According to the email, the letters contained a return address on the outer envelope that made the letters appear to be from a member's aide.
"After investigating, it is clear that no staff has been involved in sending the threatening letters, and that whoever sent the letters have falsely attributed the letters to staffers," according to the Sept. 22 email to House Republicans.
According to the email, the Ohio State Highway Patrol officials asked all members of the House who received the letters to handle them carefully, because investigators wanted to review them as evidence.
OSP officials asked House members to refrain from handling the letters and to place them in a "Ziploc" bag for storage, the email stated.
OSP officials said that they have followed some leads in their investigation and say it is ongoing.
Hottinger said that he feels adequately protected while at work.
“I personally feel the statehouse is adequately protected,” Hottinger said. “There is highway patrol presence everywhere, both uniformed and undercover.”
It was not immediately known which members of the Ohio House of Representatives received the threatening letters.
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