Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
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.

Tamaya Dennard Reaches Plea Deal

tamaya dennard
Ann Thompson
Tamaya Dennard leaves the Hamilton County Courthouse with lawyer Erik Laursen on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020.

According to a document filed in Cincinnati federal court, former Council Member Tamaya Dennard has reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says Dennard has agreed to plead guilty to one count of Honest Services Wire Fraud punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment, a term of supervised release up to three years, and a fine not to exceed $250,000.

"The defendant knowingly devised or participated in a scheme to defraud the public of its right to the honest services of the public official through bribery or kickbacks," federal prosecutors say.

The plea agreement says Dennard obtained approximately $15,000 in connection with the commission of the offense charged in Count 1 of the Indictment and agrees to pay back the money.

The former councilwoman was arrested February 25for allegedly requesting thousands of dollars in exchange for her votes on council items.

On March 17, 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).

In a posting on her Facebook page from March 12, Dennard wrote of the charges, "At the core of social justice is the presumption of innocence. People have heard one side of a situation and sealed my fate."

No date has been set for Dennard to enter the plea in court.

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.