LOS ANGELES/MINNEAPOLIS/WASHINGTON – An Ohio bartender suspected of wanting to poison U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner has been charged with threatening to murder the Republican leader, court documents showed on Tuesday.
Michael Hoyt, who served Boehner at a country club in Ohio and checked into a psychiatric facility after he was questioned by police on Oct. 29, was indicted on the charge last Wednesday, court papers said.
“Speaker Boehner is aware of this situation, and sincerely thanks the FBI, the Capitol Police and local authorities in Ohio for their efforts,” his spokesman, Michael Steel, said in a statement.
A description of Hoyt’s alleged plot was laid out in an arrest affidavit filed in federal court on Nov. 6 and unsealed just over a month later. The case was first reported by a Cincinnati television station on Tuesday.
Hoyt dialed 911 on Oct. 29, gave the operator his first name and asked that his father be told he was sorry.
A police officer checked on Hoyt at his home in Deer Park, Ohio, and Hoyt told the officer he had lost his job at a country club where Boehner is a member, court papers said.
“Hoyt advised that he had been fired from his job at Wetherington Country Club in West Chester, Ohio, and did not have time to put something in John Boehner’s drink,” the affidavit stated.
Hoyt also told the officer he was Jesus Christ and was going to kill Boehner because the speaker was mean to him and was responsible for the Ebola outbreak, court papers said.
An attorney for Hoyt could not be reached for comment.
A federal judge last month ordered that Hoyt be transported to a facility run by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons for a psychiatric evaluation requested by his attorneys. It was unclear on Tuesday if the evaluation had been carried out.
Hoyt, the day before he was questioned by police, sent Boehner’s wife a rambling email that said: “If I had any intention of hurting Mr. Boehner I could have poisoned his wine at Wetherington many, many times,” court records said.
Hoyt, who owned firearms, also told police he planned to shoot Boehner, court papers said. He experienced a mental health episode about two years before and stopped taking his medication, authorities said.
Boehner has held the top leadership position in the House since 2011. He represents a district north of Cincinnati.