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Attorney Steve Goodin named as Jeff Pastor’s replacement on city council

Updated: Nov. 30, 2020 at 1:28 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Attorney Steve Goodin has been sworn-in as Jeff Pastor’s temporary replacement on Cincinnati city council.

Judge Ralph Winkler made the selection Monday morning.

Goodin tells FOX19 NOW he’s been talking to Judge Winkler for about a week and that he was, “very honored to receive the news.”

“The first order of business here, I think, is addressing and rooting out the systemic corruption that we’ve seen,” he said. “And the first thing is, we need to make sure that we have individuals here in this chamber who have the character to say no to a bribe. I mean, these are not complex ethical issues, taking bags of cash soliciting campaign contributions for official actions.”

Goodin went on to say there are things that can be done to address the systemic problems including revisiting the city’s charter and ordinances to make sure there are checks and balances in place.

He says it’s very sad to be put on city council under these circumstances.

“You know, I grieve for anyone who is going through what they’re going through no matter, you know, what they did, or didn’t do,” Goodin said.

He says he believes he’s the first person in Cincinnati history to be appointed to an interim seat under the circumstances, and it was a piece of history that he wasn’t happy to make.

As for his position on council being temporary, Goodin said, “It’s been sort of open secret that I was considering running in the fall of 2021. For one of the open seats, I’ve been speaking with business leaders and other advisors about that possibility. So, you know, more to come on that.”

Goodin is an attorney with Graydon Law. His legal background includes five years in the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office Criminal Division, according to Goodin’s biography on Graydon’s website.

The biography says Goodin has also litigated before the Ohio Ethics Commission, the Ohio Liquor Control Commission, the Ohio Elections Commission, and the Ohio Supreme Court’s Board of Commissioners and Grievances and Discipline.

Goodin is a graduate of Miami University and University of Cincinnati College of Law.

According to our media partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer, Goodin will serve on council until Pastor’s court case is completed or he is removed from office.

Judge Matthew McFarland accepted Pastor’s voluntary suspension from council last Tuesday pending the outcome of federal bribery charges against him.

Pastor is “prohibited from performing any and all official duties” as a member of council.

The voluntary suspension is not an admission of guilt.

Pastor, 36, faces felony charges of bribery, extortion, wire fraud, money laundering and other crimes.

He allegedly solicited and received $55,000 in bribes between Aug. 2018 and Feb. 2019 in exchange for favorable action on certain projects being considered by the City of Cincinnati, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Republican has pleaded not guilty and remains free on his own recognizance.

In the meantime, an Ohio lawmaker and four other Cincinnati voters have sued to remove Pastor from office. A trial date has been set for Dec. 10.

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