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Former Cleveland schools employee pleads guilty for breach of US Capitol on Jan. 6

Christine Priola's CMSD employee photo
Cleveland Metropolitan School District
Christine Priola worked as a pediatric occupational therapist for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District before resigning on Jan. 7, 2021.

A former Cleveland Metropolitan School District employee has pleaded guilty to a felony charge for her involvement in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Christine Priola, a 50-year-old resident of Willoughby and former educator with CMSD, pleaded guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding, according to a press release from the office of the U.S. Attorney in Washington, D.C.

After authorities asked for help from the public in naming individuals who “made unlawful entry into the United States Capitol Building,” Priola was identified on social media in a photo showing her holding a sign reading “the children cry out for justice” while she stands on the senate floor.

After entering through the East Rotunda Doors, Priola made her way to the Senate chamber, where she remained for roughly 10 minutes, the release states.

According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Priola “deleted from her cellphone data for photos, videos, chats, and messages from approximately Jan. 4 through Jan. 7, 2021.”

She was arrested on Jan. 14.

Priola worked with CMSD as a pediatric occupational therapist. She tendered her resignation on Thursday, Jan. 7, the day after the Capitol insurrection. Her resignation letter says that she will be “switching paths to expose the global evil of human trafficking and pedophilia, including in our government and children’s services agencies,” among other reasons for her departure from the district.

She is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 28 and faces a maximum of 20 years in prison in addition to possible fines.

A rising senior at University School in Hunting Valley, Theo works as an intern for Ideastream Public Media. At US, he serves as the co-editor in chief of the school newspaper, co-head of the organization responsible for broadcasting school sports, and prefect-elect of Hawley house.