May 18, 2021


Beyond law

Younger pleads not responsible to tampering with evidence, waives first court physical appearance

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati Metropolis Council member Wendell Younger pleaded not guilty Thursday to a tampering with evidence demand linked to the “Gang of 5” scandal.

On April 15, a grand jury indicted Youthful on the felony demand related to the “Gang of Five” — a group of council users who broke the law by conducting general public organization in personal messages during 2018. The group consisted of Younger and fellow Democrats P.G. Sittenfeld, Greg Landsman, Tamaya Dennard and Chris Seelbach. All admitted they had texted and emailed each other about metropolis company, but Ohio’s Open Meetings Act calls for meetings of general public bodies to be available to the public.

Exclusive prosecutor Patrick Hanley alleged Younger destroyed some of that private correspondence irrespective of knowing the team was less than investigation.

On Thursday, Younger entered a penned plea of not responsible and was unveiled on his very own recognizance, court documents present. He also waived his appropriate to seem at his Friday early morning arraignment. A scheduling convention is established for May 12 right before Prevalent Pleas Decide Robert Ruehlman.

Younger, 75, could experience three decades in prison if convicted.

Young’s indictment drew some calls for his resignation from users of council, when other individuals mentioned they would hold out for far more facts right before supporting his ouster.

Young is the fourth council member to be indicted on legal costs since February 2020, but his colleagues’ prices were being not associated to the “Gang of Five.”

Sittenfeld, Dennard and Republican Jeff Pastor have been all arrested by FBI agents in 2020, accused of soliciting bribes from regional developers in trade for votes on upcoming assignments. Dennard resigned shortly following her arrest and afterwards pleaded responsible to honest providers wire fraud. She was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Sittenfeld and Pastor have both of those been suspended from council.