Breaking News
More () »

Toledo City Council president calls on members accused of bribery to resign

Matt Cherry said the four 'can no longer uphold the standards mandated' by their public oaths.

TOLEDO, Ohio — The president of Toledo City Council on Wednesday called for the four members of council who are accused in a bribes for votes public corruption scheme to "resign immediately."  

Matt Cherry issued a statement a day after the arrests of Democrats Yvonne Harper, Larry Sykes, Tyrone Riley and Gary Johnson. Toledo attorney Keith Mitchell was arrested on Wednesday, accused of funneling bribes for Harper. 

While he believes in "everyone's right to due process," Cherry said Wednesday that he talked to the other seven members of council and for the good of the city, is calling on the four to resign immediately.

Cherry's full statement: 

"Toledo City Council is entrusted with a great responsibility to ensure the residents of Toledo are represented fairly, honestly, and ethically. While I believe in everyone’s right to due process, it is clear now that four members of Toledo City Council -- Gary Johnson, Tyrone Riley, Yvonne Harper, and Larry Sykes -- can no longer uphold the standards mandated upon us by virtue of the oaths we took to the people of Toledo.

 Greed, corruption, and deception have no place in government, especially here in Toledo where we value ethics, honesty, and integrity.

 Today, I have talked to the other seven members of council, and as a result of those conversations, I as President am calling on council members Johnson, Riley, Harper, and Sykes to resign immediately.

 I have considered the good of our city and the legislative branch of our government in making this announcement."

RELATED: FBI: Attorney Keith Mitchell in custody, accused in alleged Toledo City Council bribe scheme

RELATED: What are the accusations against Toledo City Council members? See the full list

RELATED: 4 Toledo City Council members accused of violating Hobbs Act in bribes-for-votes scheme: Here's what that means

RELATED: 4 Toledo City Council members arrested amid 'pay-to-play' bribery probe

RELATED: State, local leaders respond to Toledo City Council members' alleged involvement in bribes-for-votes scandal

Charges were filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court against council members Yvonne Harper, Larry Sykes, Tyrone Riley and Gary Johnson and attorney Kieth Mitchell, accusing them of extortion and accepting bribes. Harper faces an additional charge of unlawful interstate communications with the intent to extort. 

Mitchell is accused of funneling money to Harper. 

The alleged bribery and extortion scheme was said to encourage soliciting and/or accepting cash, checks, money orders or other things of value from local business owners in exchange for their votes on city council. The FBI investigation took place over the course of about two years. 

The federal charges of bribery and extortion carry maximum penalties of 10 years and 20 years in prison, respectively, according to US Attorney Justin Herdman.

Before You Leave, Check This Out