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Suspended Toledo City Council member facing bribery, extortion charges is running for council again

Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 4:35 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Larry Sykes, a suspended Toledo City Council member facing federal bribery and extortion charges, is running for city council again, the Lucas County Board of Elections confirmed on Thursday.

Sykes is seeking an at-large seat on Toledo City Council. It comes one year after he and three other council members, Yvonne Harper, Tyrone Riley, and Gary Johnson, were arrested in the corruption scheme.

The suspended council members are accused of accepting bribes while in office in a “pay-to-play” scheme to pass legislation.

All four members were suspended from their roles on city council and have denied the allegations.

No trial dates have been set. If convicted, they could face 10 years for bribery charges and 20 years for extortion charges. They could also face up to $250,000 in fines.

The Office of the Ohio Attorney General told 13abc it is not aware of anything that would prevent someone from running for public office unless they were convicted of a crime.

Attorney Keith Mitchell was also charged in the scheme before he passed away earlier this year.

The charges accused the council members and Mitchell of “knowingly, and intentionally combine, conspire, confederate and agree with each other to obstruct, delay, and affect commerce and the movement of articles and commodities in commerce by extortion.”

As of Thursday, 9 others officially filed their petitions to run for Toledo City Council:

  • James Kushlan
  • Katie Moline
  • Cerssandra McPherson
  • MacGregor Driscoll
  • Michele Grim
  • Tony Dia
  • Glenn Cook
  • Brenda Snyder
  • Tom Names

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