CINCINNATI — A man was arrested Monday in connection with manure dumped outside the Democratic Party headquarters in Warren County, Ohio, over the weekend.
James R. Pinell, 47, of Lebanon, Ohio, was charged with one count of criminal mischief, a third-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Pinell is accused of dumping manure in front of the Warren County Democratic Party's headquarters. On Saturday, party chair Bethe Goldenfield posted the photo to the Greater Cincinnati Politics Facebook group.
"What reasonable person thinks this is OK????" she said in the post.
The suburban Cincinnati county is overwhelmingly Republican; Mitt Romney got 69% of the vote four years ago. It's been almost 40 years since a Democrat was elected to countywide office.
Pinell told the Associated Press that he is against abortion. He also asserted responsibility for a similar manure dump in 2012.
Warren County Lt. John Faine said Pinell's truck was caught on video reviewed as part of the investigation. Pinell was interviewed and is cooperating. If convicted, he might have to pay for the cost of removing the manure. Pinell said he would try to get an attorney, but expects to pay a fine.
Pinell currently is not registered under either political party, and Warren County Republican Party Chairman Jeff Monroe said Pinell doesn't speak for the party. Pinell has voted in Republican primaries in the past and last voted in 2014, according to the Warren County Board of Elections.
"I'm glad," Monroe said of the arrest. "As suspected, the Republican Party had nothing to do with this."
Pinell is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 3.
The incident in Ohio follows other incidents of party headquarter vandalism nationwide, to both parties. In North Carolina, someone firebombed the Orange County GOP headquarters. Earlier this month someone tossed a brick through the window of an Indiana Republican Party office.
USA TODAY 2016