Former Cincinnati City Council president sentenced to prison for honest services wire fraud through bribery
CINCINNATI – Former Cincinnati City Council president pro tem Tamaya Dennard, 41, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court to 18 months in prison for accepting $15,000 in bribe money she sought and accepted as payment in exchange for her vote on a proposal before council.
“Dennard chose to enrich herself at the expense of the public,” said U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers said. “In doing so, she violated the public’s trust in her and also undermined our democratic values and institutions. She also earned herself time in federal prison.”
Dennard pleaded guilty in June 2020 to one count of honest services wire fraud.
According to court documents, in August 2019, Dennard contacted someone she knew who had business before the Cincinnati City Council and sought money, including by sending the individual a text message saying, “If you are willing to meet with me, I’m sure that I will be able to help you.” Dennard received $10,000 on September 9, 2019 and $5,000 in cash about two weeks later in exchange for promising to provide and providing favorable official action.
Her sentence includes a $15,000 money judgment against her and three years of supervised release following imprisonment. Dennard was ordered to report to prison in March 2021.
“When public officials engage in corruption, trust in government is eroded and the entire community suffers,” stated FBI Cincinnati Special Agent in Charge Chris Hoffman. “The FBI will continue to root out corruption and hold public officials accountable for their unlawful actions.”
David M. DeVillers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; and Chris Hoffman, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division; announced the sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Susan J. Dlott. Deputy Criminal Chief Emily N. Glatfelter and Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Singer are representing the United States in this case.
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