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Ohio Country Club Bartender Indicted After Threatening to Poison Boehner

Boehner's bartender plotted to poison his wine, federal agents say. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

An Ohio man who served drinks to Speaker John A. Boehner at his country club was indicted Jan. 7 on charges he threatened to kill the House's top Republican — by poisoning his wine.  

Michael Robert Hoyt, 44, known to patrons as "Bartender Mike," was arrested on Oct. 29 by police in Deer Park, Ohio, a Cincinnati suburb that is outside Boehner's district, approximately a week after losing his job at the Wetherington Golf and Country Club in West Chester, Ohio. Documents filed in D.C. Superior Court, first reported by local TV station WCPO Cincinnati , lay out Hoyt's alleged plot to kill Boehner, who he believed was "the devil." Federal agents, who flew to Ohio to investigate the case following a tip from local police, said they interviewed Boehner's wife about threatening emails Hoyt sent shortly before the arrest. Hoyt provided his address and invited Boehner to his house in the cryptic Oct. 28 email for an "honest conversation," with Hoyt and another country club patron.  

Boehner's wife responded: "What is this about??"  

Hoyt sent a follow-up email, identifying himself as, "Mike, your former bartender."  

According to the criminal complaint, Hoyt dialed 911 shortly after noon on Oct. 29 and told the operator to tell his father he was "sorry." Deer Park police then responded to Hoyt's address, where he told them that he had been fired from his job at the country club, where he worked for more than five years, and did not have time to put something in Boehner's drink.  

Hoyt explained he was Jesus Christ and he was going to kill Boehner because the speaker had been mean to him, and because he believed Boehner was responsible for Ebola.  

Hoyt also told the officers he had a Baretta .380 automatic, and he was going to shoot Boehner and "take off," according to the document. Hoyt volunteered for a psychiatric evaluation, and police promptly transported him to University of Cincinnati hospital, placing a 72-hour hold on his stay. Police also recovered the handgun from his residence, and immediately contacted federal law enforcement.  

During a subsequent search of Hoyt's house, Capitol Police and FBI recovered an SKS Assault Rifle Magazine, loose rounds, two boxes of ammunition and speed loader. They also found a notebook containing "John Boehner" and "Ebola," and other writings, along with envelopes with lists of country club members. Authorities say they saw what appeared to be a bullet hole in the ceiling of Hoyt's bedroom.  

“Speaker Boehner is aware of this situation, and sincerely thanks the FBI, the Capitol Police, and local authorities in Ohio for their efforts,” spokesman Michael Steel said in a Tuesday evening email to CQ Roll Call.  

Related: Capitol Police Investigating Ohio Man for Possible Threats The 114th: CQ Roll Call's Guide to the New Congress Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.