Former Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard agrees to plead guilty to wire fraud, court docs say

Former Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard agrees to plead guilty to wire fraud, court docs say
Tamaya Dennard leaves federal courthouse on Feb. 25, 2020 (Photo: Albert Cesare/The Enquirer) (Source: Albert Cesare)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Former Cincinnati City Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard has agreed to plead guilty to honest services wire fraud, according to documents filed Monday in federal court.

The plea agreement says Dennard, “knowingly devised or participated in a scheme to defraud the public of its right to the honest services of the public official through bribery or kickbacks.”

The former city councilwoman could face up to 20 years in prison, a term of supervised release of not more than 3 years, and a fine not to exceed $250,000, the documents say.

She is scheduled to go to court to formally enter the plea at 2 p.m. Monday, June 29, court records show.

According to the plea agreement, Dennard will also pay back $15,000 obtained from “CHS” who was later identified as longtime riverfront developer Tom Gableman, an attorney who works for the Board of Hamilton County Commissioners.

“Dennard sent a text communication on or about Aug. 17, 2019, to CHS stating, ‘If you are willing to meet with me, I’m sure that I will be able to help you,‘” the documents say.

According to the court documents, Dennard received a cashier’s check for $10,000 and $5,000 in cash in Sept. 2019 from CHS.

“In exchange for and because of the money from the CHS, Dennard promised to and did provide favorable official action on behalf of CHS and CHS’s client as requested and as opportunities arose, including voting on matters before Cincinnati City Council for the benefit of CHS and CHS’s client,” the documents read.

The documents say Dennard continued to ask for more money from CHS in return for, “future help relating to official action for the benefit of CHS and CHS’s client was tied to additional payment from CHS.”

The FBI told FOX19 it has no comment about the plea agreement at this time.

Dennard’s attorney also declined comment.

Dennard resigned in March amid growing calls for her to step down after her arrest in late February.

She was indicted in later that month on federal charges of bribery, attempted extortion, and wire fraud, court records show

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