Cincinnati City Council is scheduled to meet Wednesday after one of them was arrested on federal charges of trying to exchange votes for money.
Democratic Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard is accused of bribery, attempted extortion and honest services wire fraud, according to court records unsealed Tuesday.
She appeared in federal court in handcuffs and leg irons and was released on her own recognizance but ordered to surrender her passport.
It’s not clear if she will attend the weekly council meeting scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.
One council member is already calling for her to resign.
“It’s a sad day for Cincinnatians,” Councilman Jeff Pastor tells FOX19 NOW.
“My heart, my prayers go out to every Cincinnatian who has lost faith and trust in our city. My heart my prayers goes out to my colleague Tamaya Dennard during this difficult process. Like like my colleagues have indicated, I want the issue to work through the courts. If found guilty, then Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard should immediately resign. If she decides to do so before, that’s totally up to her.”
Pastor said he doesn’t condone the behavior Dennard has been accused of, exchanging votes for money. He said as far as he knows, it stops with her.
“I honestly believe no one is conducting this kind of behavior at City Hall. I can definitely say that is not the case with me. I am going to continue to work to restore trust and faith back city government.”
On Tuesday, we contacted several council members for reaction to Dennard’s arrest and charges.
Several didn’t respond. Amy Murray declined to comment.
“We just have to wait and see what happens. It’s a sad day for the city,” Councilman David Mann said.
“I am praying for my colleague,” said Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman. “I am going to put her on my devotion list and pray for her tonight and in the morning. I am going to be praying for peace for her and for her family.”