HUDSON, Ohio — Hudson Mayor Craig Shubert, whose baseless claims that school board members were peddling child pornography led to a rebuke from the Summit County prosecutor, is now garnering attention for suggesting ice fishing in the city could lead to prostitution.
Shubert made the comments, which have been widely shared online, during a Hudson City Council meeting on Tuesday. Council President Chris Foster said “a number of residents” have requested permission to ice fish on Hudson Springs Lake, according to a recording of the meeting posted on the city’s website. Ice fishing is currently prohibited on the lake.
Several officials demurred. They worried someone could fall through the ice, and the city could be held liable. It could also create an additional burden for Hudson’s firefighters, paramedics and police officers.
Shubert raised an altogether different concern.
“If you open this up to ice fishing, while on the surface it sounds good, then what happens next year?” Shubert asked. “Does someone come back and say ‘I want an ice shanty on Hudson Springs Park, for X amount of time?’ And then if you then allow ice fishing with shanties, then that leads to another problem: prostitution. And now you’ve got the police chief and the police department involved.”
Council members did not directly address Shubert’s comment about prostitution. Council member Chris Banweg responded by quipping “I’m not in favor of ice shanties.”
Cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer has reached out to Shubert’s office for comment.
The statement is not Shubert’s first controversial claim. Last fall, the mayor demanded the resignations of the city’s entire school board because he baselessly claimed a book that was being used in a high school creative writing class included child pornography.
The book, “642 Things to Write About,” had been used in the district for five years prior to the controversy. Some of the prompts were criticized as inappropriate; they included “write a sex scene you wouldn’t show your mom” and “describe a time when you wanted to orgasm but couldn’t.”
After the mayor’s claims, school board members and Hudson High School teachers received violent threats, according to the Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh’s office. Bevan Walsh said the writing prompts did not amount to child pornography.
Bevan Walsh’s investigation explored whether Shubert could face criminal charges, including disrupting a public meeting and inciting panic over the threats to public officials that followed. She ultimately determined Shubert would not be charged.
Olivia Mitchell, cleveland.com