John Boehner's Former Golf Club Bartender Threatened to Poison Him, Police Say

Wednesday January 14th, 2015
House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama enjoy a round in 2011.
MANDEL NGAN

A former bartender at House Speaker John Boehner's Ohio country club has been charged with threatening to kill Boehner, according to the United States Capitol Police.

In court papers filed Tuesday, police said that bartender Michael Hoyt "regretted not having enough time to put something in Boehner’s drink" and that he had also planned to "shoot Boehner and take off." His reasons, according to police, included his beliefs that Boehner was mean to him at the country club, that Boehner was responsible for the Ebola virus, and that Boehner was the devil.

The man known as "Bartender Mike" was fired in October from Wetherington Country Club in West Chester, Ohio and was placed in a psychiatric ward after making the threats toward Boehner, police said. Hoyt has a history of mental illness, according to the documents. He was treated for a psychotic episode two years ago and was prescribed medication, which he voluntarily stopped taking after about six months, according to the FBI.

Hoyt had also emailed Boehner's wife, Debbie, before calling the police on himself. He blamed his firing on Boehner.

In the email, Hoyt says:

"If I had any intention of hurting Mr. Boehner, I could have poisoned his wine at Wetherington many, many times."

When Debbie Boehner replies, "What is this about??" Hoyt says:

“Mrs. Boehner, I was fired. I could not email Mr. Boehner directly because of the ZIP code block on his email. It doesn’t matter anyway. If he took a real interest in anything, he would ensure his club was better than the country, but they are exactly the same and life goes on. Sincerely, Mike. Mike, your former bartender.”

Police said they later seized a number of weapons, ammunition, prophetic writing entries and list of other country club members at Hoyt's home.

Boehner is an avid golfer with a single-digit handicap. President Obama, a fellow golf nut, has said that Boehner is one of his favorite golf partners despite the Republican house speaker being on the opposite side of the political aisle. Boehner addressed the charges against Hoyt through a spokesman Tuesday.

"Speaker Boehner is aware of this situation, and sincerely thanks the FBI, the Capitol Police and local authorities in Ohio for their efforts," Michael Steel, Boehner's spokesman, wrote in a statement released Jan. 13.

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