Tentative Settlement Reached In 'Gang Of Five' Suit

Feb 19, 2019

Cincinnati has reached an agreement with a plaintiff who filed a lawsuit against five Cincinnati City Council members accusing them of violating the state's open meeting law with a series of text messages.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman announced Tuesday he'll hold a hearing on March 7 when the terms of the settlement will be released publicly. He's ordering the five council members involved to attend. They include: Greg Landsman, P.G. Sittenfeld, Wendell Young, Tamaya Dennard and Chris Seelbach.

Resident Mark Miller and his attorney, Brian Shrive, said the group's text messages from last spring about the firing of former City Manager Harry Black violated the open meetings law. The five had released some messages, but Miller and Shrive said they needed to see all of them to find out if there were other violations of the law.

It's believed the agreement will include the release of all messages sent between the five members, even if only two were involved in some conversations. Some of those could have embarrassing content not only for the council members but also some third parties.