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Former Cleveland Schools Employee Charged In Capitol Breach

Christine Priola resigned from her position at CMSD on Jan. 7, a day after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Building. [Cleveland Metropolitan School District]
Christine Priola's CMSD employee photo

Updated: 5:18 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021

Federal prosecutors accused a former Cleveland public schools employee of breaching the Senate chamber during last week’s pro-Trump storming of the U.S. Capitol building.

Christine Priola is charged with unlawful entry, disorderly conduct and unlawful activities on Capitol grounds, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court Thursday.

The FBI received an anonymous tip via Twitter linking Priola to images of a woman on the Senate floor holding a sign reading “The Children Cry Out For Justice,” Deputy U.S. Marshal David Kasulones wrote in an affidavit supporting the complaint. 

Authorities searched her home Jan. 8, taking computers, her phone, thumb drives and clothing and the sign matching the images circulating online, Kasulones wrote. Phone location data indicated that she was in an area just northeast of the Capitol on Jan. 6, according to the affidavit.

Priola resigned from her job as an occupational therapist at the Cleveland Metropolitan School District on Jan. 7.

In her resignation letter, she wrote that she would be “switching paths to expose the global evil of human trafficking and pedophilia, including in our government and children’s services agencies.”

Priola was represented by public defenders at a Thursday afternoon virtual hearing before Magistrate Judge Jonathan D. Greenberg, according to court records. Greenberg set a $20,000 unsecured bond, meaning Priola would only have to pay if she violated the conditions of her release.


Nick Castele was a senior reporter covering politics and government for Ideastream Public Media. He worked as a reporter for Ideastream from 2012-2022.