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WVXU has been covering the stories of politics and corruption at Cincinnati's City Hall since early 2020. We have now launched an initiative to more closely examine Cincinnati politics and the individuals who have shaped it, along with the current allegations of corruption. We'll also explore proposals for change, and seek feedback from local leaders and community members on what can be done to restore trust in City Hall.Trust in Local Government, WVXU's Public Integrity Project will analyze our council-manager form of government and the charter amendments designed to reinforce ethical standards at City Hall; take a historical look at corruption in Cincinnati government; talk with the candidates for Cincinnati mayor and continue with an ongoing series of features, interviews and candidate profiles.

Chabot's Campaign Manager Pleads Guilty

Jamie Schwartz is a former campaign manager for U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot, pictured.

U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot's (R-OH) former campaign manager pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Friday to charges he embezzled more than $1.4 million from Chabot's congressional campaign.

Jamie Schwartz faces a maximum of up to 20 years in prison on each count ofwire fraud and falsification of records. The plea agreement recommends no more than 32 months behind bars. He also must pay the $1.4 million back.

The 41-year-old worked for Chabot from at least 2011-2019.

Court records allege that while acting as the de facto campaign treasurer he wrote checks to his companies - Fountain Square Group LLC and Prime Media LLC - and himself out of campaign accounts.

Schwartz 's attorney, Kevin Tierney, told WVXU his client has fully cooperated with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and is very remorseful for what has happened.

Schwartz shut down Fountain Square Group in 2019 after a letter from the FEC detailing $123,625 had gone missing from campaign funds.

The government further alleges Schwartz "fabricated bank statements and other documents in submissions to the Federal Election Commission in order to conceal his embezzling."

Judge Timothy Black did not set a sentencing date.

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