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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Toledo Mayor asks Ohio AG to suspend council members charged with bribery

Larry Sykes, Yvonne Harper, Tyronne Riley, and Garrick Johnson
City of Toledo
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Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz has asked the Ohio Attorney General to suspend four city council members:  Garrick Johnson, Tyrone Riley, Yvonne Harper, and Larry Sykes.

That's after the U.S. Justice Department charged them with accepting bribes in return for votes.

Kapszukiewicz says the four refused or ignored his request that they resign.  He agrees that in a court of law, they are innocent until proven guilty - but the standard is different in government.

"What they are accused of is so serious and threatens public trust so profoundly that the only course is for them to resign or if they won't, to suspend them," he says.

Calls and emails to three of the accused city council members, Tyrone Riley, Yvonne Harper, and Larry Sykes were not returned.

Garrick Johnson referred Michigan Radio to his attorney, Rick Kerger.

Kerger says Johnson is innocent of the charges, so he should not have to resign. 

And he says the Ohio statute allowing the state Attorney General to suspend local officials only refers to state charges - not charges brought by the federal government.

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