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Attorneys reveal 48 people who may testify at P.G. Sittenfeld's public corruption trial

PG sittenfeld, in a gray suit and blue tie with a messenger bag on his shoulder, enters the Potter Stewart Federal Court Building on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, with a young woman in a printed wrap dress by his side.
Jason Whitman
Former Cincinnati City Council member P.G. Sittenfeld is seen entering the Potter Stewart Federal Court Building as jury selection begins for his trial on Tuesday, June 21, 2022. Sittenfeld is accused of illegally trading city council votes for campaign donations.

Attorneys took nearly six hours Tuesday to choose a jury in the public corruption trial of former Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld, weeding out many who had personal hardships, political biases, ties to possible witnesses, or those who had watched extensive media coverage of the high-profile case or already decided his guilt or innocence.

Now the jury of 12, together with the four alternate jurors, will hear opening statements on Wednesday at U.S. District Court in downtown Cincinnati.

Then they will hear from the prosecution’s first witness: former council member Kevin Flynn, who served with Sittenfeld from 2013 to 2017 at City Hall and will provide a general backdrop of city government and how development deals work.

“Politics. This case involves politics, everyone’s favorite topic,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Singer said, before he asked potential jurors whether they had contributed to a campaign, hosted a candidate fundraiser or attended a political rally.

“I have thoughts about one political party and they’re not particularly positive,” answered one potential juror, who was later struck from the jury pool by U.S. District Court Judge Douglas Cole.

Potential jurors were drawn from as far away as Lawrence County, which borders West Virginia. The federal court district spans 10 counties stretching along Ohio’s southern border into the rural farmlands of Adams, Brown, Clinton, Highland and Scioto counties, and the more suburban areas in Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren counties.

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Paula Christian is an investigative reporter at WCPO Channel 9 and has been since 2015. She's also worked at the Cincinnati Business Courier, Tampa Tribune, Winston-Salem Journal, Greensboro News & Record as a staff writer, and numerous other publications throughout Ohio as a freelance journalist. A graduate of Syracuse University in New York, she is most proud of her work that holds government officials accountable, such as watching where taxpayer dollars are spent and bringing the public inside important court proceedings.
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