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Tag: toledo

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.”

FBI Received Increase in Tips from the Public Following Massacres in El Paso, Toledo

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Tips to the FBI increased following the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, a sign that the public is taking the gun deaths more seriously.

The FBI’s National Threat Operations Center fielded more than 38,000 tips from the public in the first week following the Aug. 3 and Aug. 4 attacks. NTOC averages 22,000 tips, The Washington Post reports.

At least 28 people have been arrested on allegations of threatening to commit mass shootings since 31 people were killed in massacres in Texas and Ohio.

In the wake of the attacks, FBI Director Christopher Wray urged law enforcement agencies across the country to become more vigilant in their search for potential mass shooters.

The FBI said tips usually increase following “major incidents.”

“Such increases are often observed after major incidents,” the FBI said in a statement. “As always, the FBI encourages the public to remain vigilant and report any and all suspicious activity to law enforcement immediately.”

White Supremacist Gets 18 Months for Mailing Noose to Ohio NAACP Official

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A white Supremacist from Oregon is off to prison.

A federal judge in Toledo sentenced Daniel Lee Jones of Portland to 18 months in prison for sending the president of the Lima, Ohio, chapter of the NAACP, a noose by mail. He pleaded guilty in May.

In his plea agreement, Jones admitted to mailing F.M. Jason Upthegrove a hangman’s noose which was delivered on Feb. 14, 2008, the Justice Department said.

Jones said he sent the noose as a threat because Upthegrove was an African-American who publicly advocated for better police services for African-Americans in Lima, the Justice Department said.

Upthegrove also “spoke out in the media against Jones’s white supremacist group’s mailing of hate flyers related to the shooting of an African American woman by a member of the Lima Police Department,” the Justice Department said.

“A noose, an unmistakable symbol of hatred in this nation, was used by this defendant as a threat of violence aimed at silencing a civil rights advocate,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division. “The Department of Justice will vigorously prosecute those who use threats of violence to attempt to silence proponents of racial equality.”