We have multiple, first-hand accounts of people calling the Governor’s office yesterday and calling the Department of Public Safety, each one blaming the other or, better yet, blaming the fire marshal. Neither one would take responsibility for locking citizens out of the Statehouse. (today we verified that it was Tom Charles’ Department of Public Safety)
People calling the Governor’s office were told it was “a safety issue” and the Statehouse was “Full to capacity” and the “fire marshal closed it, because there were too many people inside”.
But Julie Carr-Smyth of the AP confirmed this morning that the occupancy of the building is actually “5000-plus”:
An occupancy permit for the Statehouse that was reviewed by The Associated Press allowed for “5000-plus” to legally be on site within fire code. That number includes hearing rooms that accommodate about 3,200 people, permit figures showed.
I’m hearing news that Charles is stepping up and finally taking responsibility for this. And he’s claiming Kasich didn’t tell him to do it. It seems VERY unlikely the director of Public Safety is going to make a huge decision like this without consulting the Governor.
But you do have to wonder: who told the people answering the phones to say the building was over capacity and that the fire marshal was responsible?