Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) announced he is looking into whether the Ohio Capitol can be annexed from the City of Columbus’ city limits as a result of the city not protecting the Capitol from recent protests.
“We’re researching it currently. If Columbus isn’t interested in protecting state property we need to consider removing Capitol Square from the City,” he said in an emailed statement.
The House Speaker issued this statement after he appeared on the Ohio Christian Alliance Podcast News in Focus Thursday and said he is looking into whether he can remove Capitol Square from Columbus and create something that looks like Washington D.C.
Furthermore, Householder said he is considering legislation that would “would take the authority away from the city prosecutor and give it to the attorney general for prosecution in downtown Columbus.”
Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina), when asked about Householder’s comments, he told WCPN’s Sound of Ideas that he didn’t know if Capitol Square could be removed from Columbus. However, Obhof said he had talked to him about this issue.
“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,” he said.
Householder’s potential stark measure comes as a result of the Columbus Police Department not adequately defending the Capitol during the recent protests in downtown Columbus.
In the last month, the Capitol has been vandalized by people who were protesting George Floyd’s death.
The first time came in the early morning of May 29 when protesters damaged the statehouse by breaking 28 windows and setting the lawn on fire.
Earlier in June, Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein dropped all charges against the protesters who were arrested failing to disperse and violating curfew orders.
Two weeks later, the second incident occurred where protesters defaced the Ohio Statehouse with red paint.
Householder said on the podcast these protests were an “attack on our government and way of life and the things we believe in.”
In addition, Ohio’s House Speaker said he believes that the Columbus City Police decided that if anything was going to get torn up during the May 29 protest that it would be state property rather than city or county property.
In thinking of ways to hold Columbus accountable for these protests, Householder is thinking of deducting Columbus’ local government funds.
“If they are not going to protect the citizens and property of the state of Ohio then they don’t deserve to have those funds,” he said.
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Zachery Schmidt is the digital editor of Star News Digital Media. If you have any tips, email Zachery at [email protected] Follow Zachery on Twitter @zacheryschmidt2.