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Counter Points is written by WVXU Senior Political Analyst Howard Wilkinson. In it, he shares insights on political news on the local, state and national level that impacts the 2020 election. Counter Points is delivered once a week on Wednesdays and will cease publication soon after the November election is decided.

Former Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard Pleads Not Guilty To Federal Charges

Tana Weingartner

Former Cincinnati Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard pleaded not guilty in federal court Monday.Dennard pleaded not guilty to charges of honest services wire fraud, bribery and attempted extortion. The charges include: three counts of honest services wire fraud (up to 20 years in prison); two counts of bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds (up to 10 years in prison); and two counts of attempted extortion (up to 20 years in prison).

She remains free on an own recognizance bond. Magistrate Judge Stephanie Bowman oversaw the arraignment. The case will be before Judge Susan Dlott.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment last week.  She wasarrested Feb. 25 and resigned her council seat March 2.

Court documents allege Dennard requested up to $15,000 in exchange for her votes on council items.

In a posting on her Facebook page from March 12, Dennard writes: "You can say what you want about my politics, but I have never attacked one of my former colleagues personally. I've challenged what they have said but not who they are. If anything, I've gone to bat for them or showed support. At the core of social justice is the presumption of innocence. People have heard one side of a situation and sealed my fate."

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.