Jury deliberations to continue into Tuesday in trial of former Toledo councilman

Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 3:45 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 12, 2023 at 12:20 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Jury deliberations began Monday in the bribery trial for former Toledo councilman Gary Johnson. The jury did not reach a verdict and deliberations are scheduled to resume Tuesday morning.

Johnson is accused of accepting bribes in exchange for votes on zoning requests for internet cafes.

Johnson took the stand in the case on Friday and told the jury that he considered the $1,000 check given to him in January of 2020 to be a campaign contribution when he was running for Lucas County Sheriff. That money came from Nabil Shaheen, who has since been convicted on a charge in connection to the case, and it came right around the time Shaheen had a vote in front of council for an internet café. Johnson says that money did not influence his vote because he touted himself as a pro-business candidate and tried to always vote for new businesses.

The second payment was $2,000 in cash. Johnson asked Shaheen for some of that for his campaign for Lucas County Sheriff. Shaheen gave it all but also added a friend of his was asking for an internet café approval in the next few days. Johnson voted for that one, but Johnson told Shaheen on a recorded phone call that the money was not in exchange for a vote. Johnson never ended up spending that cash.

Former councilmembers Tyrone Riley, Yvonne Harper and Larry Sykes were convicted in the scheme in December of 2022. They are expected to be sentenced in the case later this year.