The FBI has arrested Democratic Toledo City Council members Tyrone Riley, Yvonne Harper, Larry Sykes and Gary Johnson Tuesday for allegedly “accepting bribe payments for official acts.”
Two years ago, the FBI began its investigation into the Toledo City Council for “soliciting/and or accepting cash, checks, money orders, or other things of value from local business owners in exchange for their vote on City Council, the affidavit says.
According to the affidavit, FBI found evidence of Riley having solicited bribes going as far back as 2013.
Furthermore, Harper is accused of using local attorney Kevin Mitchell to “solicit and funnel” her bribe payments.
Each elected official who was arrested used cell-phones to arrange these alleged transactions, according to the affidavit.
To gather evidence, the FBI recorded phone conversations, conducted in-person meetings, collected text messages, and looked through government, business, and financial records.
In reaction to the news, Democratic Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz issued this statement in reaction Tuesday, according to WTOL.
“I am shocked and heartbroken by today’s arrests. This is a terrible day for Toledo — and for everyone who believes in the good that can be accomplished through public service.
“I was inspired to run for public office by a Catholic priest, Fr. Timothy O’Brien, who impressed upon me the benefits of a life dedicated to serving the public good. Because of his mentorship, I have no tolerance for public officials who abuse the trust of the citizens. One of the reasons Toledo has seen relatively little political corruption, historically, is because the public doesn’t tolerate it either.
These members of Council are entitled to their day in court, and they should be “presumed innocent until proven otherwise. I encourage all Toledoans to say a prayer for our city and for the hope that justice will be done in this case.”
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Zachery Schmidt is the digital editor of Star News Digital Media. If you have any tips, email Zachery at [email protected] Follow Zachery on Twitter @zacheryschmidt2.
Left to Right: Photo “Larry Skyes” by Larry Skyes. Photo “Tyrone Riley” by Tyrone Riley. Photo “Yvonne Harper” by Katie Moline. Photo “Gary Johnson” by Gary Johnson. Background Photo “Toledo City Council Meeting Room” by Toledo City Council.