Gang of Five

Cincinnati Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman has resurrected his motion from last year asking that the so-called "Gang of Five" council members reimburse the city for legal fees related to violating the state's open meetings law.  

Updated 2 p.m.

A special prosecutor is being appointed to investigate five Cincinnati council members for violating Ohio's Open Meetings Act.

The Ohio Ethics Commission, in an advisory opinion, said five Cincinnati City Council members cannot vote on a motion asking them to reimburse the city for legal expenses and fines related to private texts sent between them that violated the state's open meeting law.


WVXU senior political analyst Howard Wilkinson spoke with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about the latest court case in which five Cincinnati council members agreed to a settlement where, in effect, they admitted to breaking Ohio's Open Meetings Law, with their exchange of text messages last year. Wilkinson talked about how it might impact the city's mayoral race in 2021.

greg landsman
Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Response to Thursday's "Gang of Five" texting lawsuit settlement included outrage that the city of Cincinnati will foot the $101,000 bill.

At least four of the Cincinnati council members involved say they intend to pay back their portion of the fine for breaking Ohio's Open Meetings Act.