Ex-Cincinnati councilman convicted on corruption charges

July 8, 2022 GMT

CINCINNATI (AP) — A former Cincinnati City Council member was convicted Friday of federal charges of bribery and attempted extortion but was acquitted on four other counts.

Democrat P.G. Sittenfeld, 37, had maintained his innocence against allegations that he agreed to accept $40,000 in payments to his political action committee to “deliver the votes” in the City Council for a proposed downtown real estate development. He had been considered a top contender to run for mayor before he was indicted in November 2020.

“We’re obviously very disappointed, that’s about all I can say right now,” Charlie Rittgers, Sittenfeld’s attorney, said as he left the courthouse. “P.G., well he’s crushed. He’s crushed.”

It’s not yet known if Sittenfeld will appeal the verdict or what type of sentence he’s facing.

The jury got the case Wednesday afternoon and deliberated more than 12 hours over three days before reaching its mixed verdict. Sittenfeld was found guilty of single counts of bribery and attempted extortion but was acquitted of two counts of honest services wire fraud and single counts of attempted bribery and extortion.

Sittenfeld dipped his head and slumped forward in his seat after hearing the verdict, while his wife and at least one other woman in the packed courtroom started to cry.