Ex-top cop sues ’Gang of Five’ council member over ‘racist’ text

Updated: Mar. 8, 2019 at 2:56 PM EST
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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - One of Cincinnati City Council’s self-proclaimed “Gang of Five” was hit with a defamation lawsuit Friday for calling an ex-top police official a “racist” in a text.

The former second-in-command at the Cincinnati Police Department, Assistant Chief David Bailey, sued Tamaya Dennard in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court, a copy of the suit shows.

She was sued individually and in her capacity as a member of Cincinnati City Council.

The suit was filed so fast, just one day after the text messages were released, because there is a one-year statute of limitation for defamation suits.

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Dennard sent the text to Councilman Chris Seelbach a year ago Friday, according to a copy of council’s secret texts released Thursday as part of a lawsuit settlement.

“Just saw your tweet,” she texted Seelbach March 8, 2018. “Not trying to undermine your friendship, but Bailey is a racist and as been for some time.”

The tweet went out just a few hours after Bailey was told to leave or be fired from the police department after more than 30 years on March 8, he said in a deposition related to a former Cincinnati police officer’s lawsuit last year.

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“FYI I just called Dave Bailey about a dog issue. As I was explaining the issue, he stopped me. Started crying," Seelbach texted March 8, 2018. "And told me his attorney called him in an hour ago, told him he had to retire or be fired by Harry later today. Said Harry suspects he is the one who is doing everything. And so he agreed to resign. He’s spent his entire career in the police dept. And he is not the leak. This is not the way he deserves to go.”

We contacted Bailey for comment Thursday when we spotted the text. He said he was unaware of it and referred us to his lawyer, Brian Gillan, who declined comment.

Gillan declined comment again Friday.

We also sought comment from Dennard, the city solicitor’s office and a city spokesman, but we received no response.

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