Rep. Emilia Sykes asks Gov. John Kasich to get involved in mediation over discrimination complaint

COLUMBUS, Ohio - An Akron Democrat who said security around Capitol Square has stopped and questioned her as she's entering state buildings sent a letter to Gov. John Kasich, asking him to get involved.

Specifically, Rep. Emilia Sykes wants Kasich, a Republican, to force his departments of Public Safety and Administrative Services into mediation with her to resolve her gender discrimination and racial bias complaints before the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.

"I, like other African American women, have experienced unfair treatment and discrimination at Statehouse security checkpoints," she wrote in a Tuesday latter to the governor.

A spokesman for Kasich did not comment on the letter. However, Ohio Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Kristen Castle, who said she was responding for the administration, said in an email: "We respect the role that the Ohio Civil Rights Commission plays in this and their right to move forward with an investigation. We do not want to do anything to hinder their ability to move forward and will support their efforts."

Sykes filed the complaints with the Civil Rights Commission last month over several incidents - dating back to 2016 and as recent as May - in which she was stopped by police officers or contract security guards, despite having an official state badge in many instances. In addition to the two agencies under Kasich, the complaint is against the Ohio House of Representatives and the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board. Read more.

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