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P.G. Sittenfeld claims innocence, plans to fight charges until very end

Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 1:47 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Suspended Cincinnati City Council Member P.G. Sittenfeld claimed he is innocent of federal corruption-related charges following a court appearance Tuesday where his trial date was set.

Sittenfeld, a Democrat, was indicted on charges of honest services wire fraud, bribery and attempted extortion by a government official in Nov. 2020.

Sittenfeld’s legal team previously requested a federal judge to drop all corruption-related charges back in March.

The judge denied the request.

Sittenfeld’s trial is set to begin in June 2022 and is expected to last about three to four weeks, his lawyer, Charlie Rittgers Sr., told FOX19 NOW.

The plan is to “fight it until the very end,” Sittenfeld said Tuesday.

Sittenfeld is one of three Cincinnati City Council Members indicted in the past year in what prosecutors allege is a pay-to-play scheme exchanging votes for cash or PAC contributions.

Last December, Sittenfeld agreed to a voluntary suspension from office pending the outcome of the charges against him.

Sittenfeld’s former colleague on council, Jeff Pastor, 37, a Republican, was indicted on similar charges just days before Sittenfeld’s arrest.

Pastor also agreed to a voluntary suspension and was replaced by fellow Republican Steve Goodin.

Republican Liz Keating was then appointed to Sittenfeld’s seat.

A third council member, Democrat Tamaya Dennard, 41, resigned from council in March 2020 after she was arrested the previous month.

She pleaded guilty to a wire fraud charge and reported to a federal prison in West Virginia in June to serve her 18 month sentence.

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