TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) – Four Toledo City Council members and a private attorney were accused Tuesday of taking part in a bribery and extortion scheme that encouraged soliciting and/or accepting cash and other things of value from business owners in exchange for favorable votes on issues before the council, federal prosecutors said.
Tyrone Riley, Yvonne Harper, Larry Sykes, and Garrick “Gary” Johnson, all Democrats who serve on the council, and Keith Mitchell, an attorney in Toledo who Harper allegedly used to solicit and funnel bribe payments through, all face bribery and extortion charges. Harper also faces a count of interstate communications with intent to extort.
The four council members were all arrested early Tuesday without incident, authorities said, but Mitchell remained at large. Each defendant could face up to 10 years on the bribery counts and 20 years on the extortion counts.
It wasn’t known Tuesday if any of the defendants have retained attorneys.
The criminal cases started in