Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost initiated suspension proceedings against Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld on Monday amid allegations of corruption.
Sittenfeld has been accused of accepting $40,000 in bribes and was charged with two counts each of honest services wire fraud, bribery and attempted extortion, NBC News reported.
Sittenfeld has denied the claims, saying that he is “innocent” and that the allegations are “simply not true.”
— P.G. Sittenfeld (@PGSittenfeld) November 20, 2020
The suspension proceedings, filed in the Ohio Supreme Court, follow similar proceedings against Cincinnati City Councilman Jeffrey Pastor on November 16. Pastor was charged with comparable crimes to Sittenfeld and is facing felony charges of bribery, extortion, wire fraud and money laundering, among others, according to a statement from the attorney general’s office.
“When an elected official puts personal gain ahead of public service, he or she cannot be trusted to act for the good of the public and must be removed from office, at the very least during the pendency of the charges,” Yost said in a statement at the time. “Ohioans deserve government that is free of public corruption at every level.”
Pastor voluntarily agreed to be suspended on November 20, Yost said.
“While allegations of public corruption are resolved in the courtroom, a suspension is the right course of action as even the appearance of corruption has no place in government,” Yost said in a Monday statement.
Yost sought both suspensions under Ohio Revised Code 3,16, which allows for the removal of any public official who has been charged in a state or federal court with a felony relating to their duties.
Sittenfeld’s suspension also follows former Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard pleading guilty in June to honest services wire fraud, according to NBC News.
Read a full copy of Yost’s suspension proceedings against Sittenfeld here.
Jordyn Pair is a reporter with The Ohio Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair.
Image “P.G. Sittenfeld” by P.G. Sittenfeld.