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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.

Feds: Cincinnati Council Member Jeff Pastor Took $55K In Bribes

dave devillers
Paul Weeden

Cincinnati City Council Member Jeff Pastor took $55,000 in bribes over the course of about a year in exchange for "official action" related to projects in the city, according to federal officials.

A federal grand jury charged Pastor, 36, with honest services wire fraud, bribery, attempted extortion by a government official and money laundering, officials said.

David DeVillers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, announced the indictment on Tuesday afternoon.

"This indictment is indicative of culture of corruption, a culture of extortion, a culture of pay-to-play," DeVillers said.

An FBI squad arrested Pastor at his home early Tuesday morning. Pastor, a Republican, is a member of city council's Law and Public Safety Committee. The committee met at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Pastor was not in attendance because he had already been arrested.

Federal officials announced charges against Pastor at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Cincinnati.

Pastor and his business partner, Tyran Marshall, 35, are both charged in the public corruption case, officials said.

Read the indictment below, and continue reading this article on WCPO >>

Pastor Indictment by WVXU News on Scribd