10 November 2004

Warren Co. defends lockdown decision

Erica Solvig and Dan Horn - November 10, 2004

FBI denies warning officials of any special threat

LEBANON - Warren County officials, facing scrutiny of their decision to lock down the administration building on election night, say they were responding to a terrorist threat that ranked a "10" on a scale of 1 to 10.

The information, which Commissioner Pat South said was previously deemed confidential, is coming out a week after the public was barred from viewing the Warren County vote count. The Ohio Secretary of State's office doesn't know of any other county in the state to impose such a restriction.

County officials initially said they feared that having reporters and photographers present could interfere with the ballot counting. They subsequently cited homeland security concerns.

Now, they say an FBI agent told them that Warren County ranked a "10" on a terrorism scale. However, state and federal homeland security officials said Tuesday they were unaware of any specific threat against the county.


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