Another city councilmember arrested on public corruption charges
Corruption and politics are closely related, there is a famous saying by Edward Abbey, “power attracts the worst and corrupts the best.” Recent cases of political corruption emerged in Cincinnati City where three members of the City Council were arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on corruption charges.
Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld of the Cincinnati City Council was arrested by the FBI on charges of accepting bribes in return for favorable votes on the development projects. Sittenfeld was a rising democrat and was expected to run for the office of Mayor in the next election. Sittenfeld is the third of the nine-member council to be arrested by the FBI on charges of bribery, wire fraud, and attempted extortion. If he is convicted Sittenfeld will serve 20 years in prison. Sittenfeld was one of the most popular and powerful politicians of the city as he amassed many by raising $710,000 for his campaign efforts.
According to the reports from the FBI, Sittenfeld was involved in orchestrating a scheme to shift money from different developers to Political Action Committee over which he secretly maintains control. The developers were undercover FBI agents who gave a total amount of $40,000 to Sittenfled on different occasions in 2018 and 2019. The indictment made shortly after the arrest states that Sittenfeld asked for money in return for his support for the plan of development of Convection Place Mall, which Chinedum Ndukwe, a well-known developer of the city wants to convert into a hotel and office complex with sports betting. The indictment also states that Sittenfled in his conversations with the undercover FBI agents talked about how to transfer money and that he could get them anything they want because he has public support. Additionally, Sittenfeld did not take the money by hand but instead made the agents transfer it to the Political Action Committee which he has no legal right to overlook. The FBI holds several recordings and videos of Sittenfled with the agents discussing how he can get them votes for their project and also bragging about his power.
Before Sittenfled former Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard, also a Democrat was arrested on charges of bribery and wire fraud. Dennard is facing 20 years in prison for requesting an individual to pay for her expenses in return for her vote. There is also Councilman Jeff Pastor who was arrested by the FBI and was charged with a 10-count indictment including bribery, extortion, money laundering, and wire fraud in return for favors to certain individuals in council projects.
These are just a few examples of those politicians who before getting in office promise to serve the nation and the people. Sittenfeld convinced the agents/developers by showing them his popularity among the local people and told them that if they invest in him he will become Mayor and favor them. These politicians make promises to be honest with the power that the public vest in them but inside they have their personal agendas that they have to fulfill by legal or illegal means. Stories of many Sittenfleds are narrated in the 'Mighty Have Fallen' by 'Derek Bluford'.
The book helps the people understand the true nature of their politicians and it is important that people know about the person who they are trusting with their vote and power. It specifically talks about corruption and how more people ought to pay attention to their local politicians.