Four members of the Toledo City Council, all Democrats, were arrested and charged in a bribery scheme by federal law enforcement authorities on Tuesday.
Federal prosecutors alleged that Tyrone Riley, Yvonne Harper, Larry Sykes, and Garrick Johnson, were involved in a scheme that extorted money from business owners in the Ohio city in exchange for favorable council votes. The FBI began its investigation into the council members in early 2018.
Each of the accused members could face up to 10 years in prison for the bribery charges, and up to 20 years on the extortion charges.
Also charged in the scheme was an attorney who is accused of helping orchestrate the crimes.
Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz issued a statement calling it a terrible day for the city.
“I am shocked and heartbroken by today’s arrests. This is a terrible day for Toledo — and for everyone who believes in the good that can be accomplished through public service,” Kapszukiewicz said.