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Toledo mask mandate passes; 3 council members accused of bribery vote

Gary Johnson, Larry Sykes and Tyrone Riley voted on multiple issues Monday. Yvonne Harper, who is also accused in the scheme, was not present in the meeting.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Toledo City Council unanimously passed the mask mandate Monday and is effective immediately. 

Now, members of the public are required to wear masks, covering their mouth and nose, when entering any place of business. In addition, businesses shall not allow patrons to enter or remain in their establishments without a mask. 

There are exceptions to the mandate. Those who have a medical condition that prevents them from wearing maks and children younger than 6 years old are exempt. 

Depending on the setting, you can also be exempt from wearing a mask. That includes:

- Restaurant and bar patrons while eating or drinking. However, if you leave your table, you are required to wear a mask. 

- In settings where it is not practicable or feasible to wear a face-covering, such as when at the dentist or doctor's office and while swimming. 

- While exercising in a gym or other similar indoor facility so long as physical separation of not less than 6 feet is maintained and the individual wears a face covering while not exercising. 

- When an individual is in his or her work office, conference room, or other workspaces not intended for use by the general public.

The Toledo Police Department and the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department are the agencies in charge for enforcing the mandate, according to the ordinance text.

Three council members accused in the bribes-for-votes scandal not only participated in Monday's meeting but also voted on all issues, including the mask mandate.

Larry Sykes, Gary Johnson and Tyrone Riley were present while Yvonne Harper was absent. 

This comes days after Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz asked them to resign by Sunday night or he would send an official letter to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, asking him to use his powers to suspend the members. 

The letter was sent Monday morning.

Yost released a statement after receiving the letter, saying the "matter is under evaluation, taking into consideration the rights of the accused to a presumption of innocence - and the rights and interests of the public."

RELATED: Toledo City Council meeting abruptly ends as members charged with bribery refuse to resign and leave

RELATED: Kapzukiewicz letter to Ohio AG requests suspension of council members accused of bribery

Toledo City Council President Matt Cherry has also asked for the members' resignation and ended last week's meeting abruptly after Johnson, Sykes and Riley refused to leave. 

The members voted on various ordinances that passed, including expanding the designated outdoor refreshment area in downtown Toledo, establishing an ethics review committee, requiring members to go through ethics training every year, and the mask mandate.