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Toledo City Council abruptly adjourns meeting when charged members won't leave

Four members of the Toledo City Council have been accused of accepting bribes while in office,...
Four members of the Toledo City Council have been accused of accepting bribes while in office, according to court documents obtained by 13abc on Tuesday. At least three of those council members have been placed into federal custody. 13abc crews were on the scene as council members Larry Sykes and Yvonne Harper were placed into custody. Federal documents also implicate council members Gary Johnson and Tyrone Riley. (WTVG)
Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 1:53 PM EDT
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Toledo's city council came to a grinding halt Tuesday afternoon as members try to figure out what to do with the 4 council members facing federal bribery charges.

Despite the federal charges, council members Tyrone Riley, Gary Johnson, Larry Sykes and Yvonne Harper have not been convicted of any crimes and can serve on council.

Council president Matt Cherry has asked them to quit. Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz has done the same. So far they're not going anywhere.

Cherry was very upfront saying he was not going to vote on anything Tuesday as long as the four council members charged by federal investigators with bribery and extortion were around.

"I ask at this point in time that the three of you please leave the meeting so we can conduct the city of Toledo business that needs to be done. Thank you,” said Cherry.

Councilmen Johnson, Riley and Sykes who were in attendance and said nothing.

"Is it my understanding the three of you will not leave?” said Cherry.

Harper did not attend Tuesday's meeting. Her status is unclear. But president Cherry was clear.

"Since we cannot operate at this time with the three of you here, this meeting is adjourned,” said Cherry.

Just like that the meeting was done. The city's law director says he'll give the city guidance on how council may proceed by the end of the week.

“This is a matter that requires deliberation for everyone involved. I know this body is looking for guidance and we will provide it. These are extraordinary times frankly and I want to render the best advice we can,” said Toledo Law Director Dale Emch.

So that means things like expanded use of body cameras, limiting no knock warrants and the details of the police civilian review board will still sit in limbo. As will things like the expansion of Toledo’s outdoor refreshment area and a mask requirement.