Jeff Pastor’s corruption trial date set
CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Suspended Cincinnati City Councilman Jeff Pastor will go on trial on several corruption-related charges next year.
U.S. District Court Judge Matthew McFarland scheduled Pastor’s jury trial to start on May 22, 2022, and last four weeks, court records show.
Pastor is accused in an indictment of bribery, extortion, wire fraud, money laundering and other crimes related to his role on council.
Federal authorities have said he was only six months into his first term before he sought his first bribe.
Pastor is accused of soliciting and received $55,000 in bribes between August 2018 and February 2019 in exchange for favorable action on development projects City Council was considering.
If Pastor is convicted on all charges, he faces up to 90 years in prison.
The Republican, 38, has pleaded not guilty and remains free on his own recognizance.
Federal officials also allege Pastor’s business partner, Tyran Marshall, 35, acted as a middleman who arranged for some payments and set up a charitable nonprofit Pastor used to “sanitize” money from the alleged bribes.
Marshall is charged with conspiring to commit wire fraud, bribery, attempted extortion and money laundering.
Pastor’s attorney, Ben Dusing, has said Pastor will fight the charges and suggested Pastor may have evidence of his own showing entrapment.
A third of the nine-member council was indicted this year by federal authorities amid an investigation into what they have repeatedly described as a “culture of corruption.”
Democrat Tamaya Dennard, 42, resigned in March 2020, admitted to selling her vote for money and recently began serving a sentence of 18 months in prison.
She also will pay a $15,000 money judgment against her and be under supervised release for three years once the prison sentence is over.
Originally, Dennard faced more charges than just wire fraud but bribery and attempted extortion counts were dropped.
P.G. Sittenfeld was indicted about a week after Pastor in a separate case.
He’s charged with two counts of honest services wire fraud, two counts of bribery and two counts of attempted extortion by a government official.
The 37-year-old Democrat was considered by many the front runner in the 2021 mayor’s race before his arrest.
He has pleaded not guilty and is free on his own recognizance.
Both Pastor and Sittenfeld have agreed to voluntary suspensions from council.
Federal prosecutors have said former Cincinnati Bengals defensive back Chinedum Ndukwe, who is now a developer, agreed to help with their investigation as a witness and an FBI informant in both Pastor and Sittenfeld’s cases.
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