Court docs show new details on Harper’s defense in Toledo City Council extortion case
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - We’re learning more about the Toledo City Council bribery investigation. Former Councilwoman Yvonne Harper’s role in the alleged extortion scheme has come into focus.
Prosecutors say there have been statements made that money Harper received was for a charitable cause but prosecutors argue it is still extorted money regardless of where the funds went.
The FBI arrested Harper, Tyrone Riley, Larry Sykes, and Gary Johnson in 2020. They’re accused of taking cash bribes in exchange for city council votes and support.
Court records show the FBI began investigating the former council members in regard to the alleged bribes-for-votes scheme in 2018 that unfolded over the following two years. The four are accused of accepting payments ranging from $500 to $5,000 in exchange for their votes on zoning requests to internet cafes.
“It is alleged that local residents/business owners met with the defendants or their co-conspirators and provided them cash, checks, money orders, or meals in exchange for their official influence, support, and votes on various projects,” court documents read. “These projects included opening and operating online gambling businesses and increased road access to their business.”
All four have pleaded not guilty to all counts.
- Five indicted in Toledo City Council federal bribery and extortion case
- Four Toledo City Council members accused of accepting bribes in 2 year FBI investigation
- Mayor Kapszukiewicz, council president call on members facing corruption charges to resign
- Charged council members have long history of public service
- Unless they resign, charged council members will likely remain
- Lawyer in Toledo City Council corruption scandal arrested, charged
- Attorney named in City Council bribery case dies
- Four new city council members appointed to seats vacated by bribery scandal
- FBI involvement in internet café raises questions in Toledo council investigation
- Suspended Toledo City Council member asks for separate federal trial
- Attorneys file motion to dismiss charges against Toledo City Councilmember
- One year later still no trial or trial date for Toledo City Council members in bribery case
- Courts finding new judge to hear Toledo City Council bribery case
- Trial date set for former Toledo City Council members accused in pay-to-play scheme
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