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FBI Arrests 4 Toledo City Councilmen, Attorney in Sweeping Bribery Scandal

Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested four Toledo City Council members who are accused of public corruption and accepting kickbacks in exchange for favorable votes.

The bribery charges against Democrats Tyrone Riley, Yvonne Harper, Larry Sykes, and Garrick “Gary” Johnson carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Harper also was charged with interstate communications with intent to extort.

The council members were arrested without incident early Tuesday.

A private Toledo attorney, Keith Mitchell, is accused of soliciting and funneling bribes to Harper and has been charged with bribery and extortion. The FBI is “actively seeking the whereabouts of Keith Mitchell,” FBI Special Agent Eric Smith said during a news conference, The Toledo Blade reports.

Smith said the council members committed a “fundamental breach” of their public oath.
The scandal involves nearly $35,000 in bribes.

“The residents of Toledo should know, as should every other resident of the Northern District of Ohio, that where there are allegations of public corruption and kickbacks, we and our federal partners will be there every time,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said in a statement.

The council has 12 members.

“I am shocked and heartbroken by today’s arrests,” Toledo Wade Kapszukiewicz said in a written statement. “This is a terrible day for Toledo — and for everyone who believes in the good that can be accomplished through public service.”


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