Mayor requests Ohio AG start suspension proceedings for four city council members

Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 4:01 PM EDT
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Toledo's mayor and city council president have sent a letter to the Ohio attorney general's office to begin suspension proceedings four Toledo city council members facing federal charges of bribery and extortion.

The letter comes after Larry Sykes, Yvonne Harper, Gary Johnson, and Tyrone Riley did not resign from their positions Sunday, as requested by Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz and council president Matt Cherry.

The letter to Ohio AG Dave Yost says in part, "Immediately after these charges were made public, we both called upon these four officials to resign their offices. While they are entitled to a presumption of innocence until found guilty, they are not entitled to their offices if remaining there will make it difficult for the city government to carry-out its business with the trust and support of our residents."

The full letter is linked


Following the sending of that letter, a spokesperson for the Attorney General's office released the following statement:

“The Ohio Attorney General’s office received Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz’s and City Council President Matt Cherry’s request to suspend four members of the Toledo City Council who were recently arrested and charged by the Department of Justice with felony counts of bribery and extortion. The matter is under evaluation, taking into consideration the rights of the accused to a presumption of innocence – and the rights and interests of the public. When further details are available, we will be sure to promptly share.”

In a statement issued last Thursday, Kapszukiewicz renewed his call for Sykes, Harper, Johnson and Riley to resign following their arrests under accusations from the FBI that they received money in exchange for their votes in council meetings.

The mayor gave the council members in question until 6 p.m. Sunday to resign before he asked AG Yost to begin that process. The mayor says the Attorney General has already agreed that it is the correct form of action for them to take. The Attorney General's office confirmed the mayor's statement.

Kapszukiewicz then signaled that council business will continue as usual, since the four members will have either resigned or their suspension process had begun.

Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz's full statement:

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