FBI arrests Cincinnati councilwoman on bribery charges

February 25, 2020 GMT

CINCINNATI (AP) — Federal authorities Tuesday arrested a Cincinnati city councilwoman on charges alleging that she offered to sell her vote.

Tamaya Dennard, 40, was released Tuesday afternoon pending a March 16 hearing.

Elected in November 2017, Dennard is charged with three counts including bribery accusing her of trying to sell votes.

Federal authorities said “a concerned citizen” who works for a law firm contacted law enforcement and worked with the FBI. An affidavit states Dennard received a total $15,000 last year. Federal investigators said she quickly spent more than $4,000 on a Florida trip.

U.S. Attorney David DeVillers said Dennard, if convicted, faces up to 20 years each in prison on counts of wire fraud and attempted extortion, and up to 10 years on a bribery charge.

Dennard’s attorney, Erik Laursen, said she is innocent until proven guilty, and that she was surprised when arrested Tuesday on her way to a Starbucks.