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Cincinnati, Ohio Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard was arrested on Tuesday on charges of corruption that could see her face up to 50 years in prison.
The councilwoman is accused of bribery, wire fraud and attempted extortion, according to a federal affidavit detailed by the Cincinnati Enquirer. Dennard allegedly agreed to a land swap sought by a developer to build a music venue on the Cincinnati waterfront, in exchange for money from the developer.
“Dennard engaged in a scheme to defraud the citizens of Cincinnati of her honest services as a council member,” FBI agent Nathan Holbrook said in the affidavit. “She engaged in acts and attempted acts of bribery and extortion, attempting to exchange her votes for money.”
In text messages to an unnamed source from a law firm connected with the developer, Dennard repeatedly asked for thousands of dollars. The source originally refused, but when Dennard persisted the source went to the FBI with the information, and agreed to wear a wire to help with an investigation into the councilwoman.
“It’s more of like trying to get a car and, like I said, money for a new place to live and then just a little bit of breathing room,” the councilwoman wrote in a text message.
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