AMERICA- On Thursday, November 9, the U.S Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio announced that FBI agents arrested a Cincinnati city council member after he was charged by a federal grand jury.
Alexander Sittenfeld, 36, also know as P.G Sittenfeld allegedly accepted $40,000 in 2018 and 2019 in exchange for specific action in his role as a city council member.
Sittenfeld was charged with accepting bribes while promising to “deliver the votes” and perform specific actions with respect to a development project.
Sittenfeld allegedly solicited and received payments to a political action committee he controlled.
In November and December of 2018 Sittenfeld promised in city council, he could “deliver the votes” to support a project in exchange for four payments totaling $20,000 in contributions to his political action committee. In September and October of 2019, Sittenfels allegedly accepted another four payments totaling $20,000.
According to indictments, in November of 2018, Sittenfield indicated to undercover agents who posed as investors that he would shepherd votes for the development project. It is alleged that he presented voting data to show that he is politically popular in Cincinnati and said he will likely be the next mayor. According to the indictment, Sittenfeld said, “I can move more votes than any other single person…, don’t let these be my famous last words, but I can always get a vote to my left or a vote to my right.” Sittenfeld allegedly reiterated in December of 2018.
According to allegations, over the next few months, Sittenfeld told investors he would continue to apply pressure to public officials in regards to their agreement involving the development project.
If convicted as charged, Sittenfeld faces up to 20 years in prison for two counts each of honest service wire fraud, 10 years for bribery, and up to 20 years for attempted extortion by a government official.
“Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your incredible outpouring of love and support. It has lifted and comforted our family enormously. I am innocent. The allegations against me are simply not true. The attempt to portray proper assistance to a project bringing jobs and growth to our city that benefits the public is a gross overreach and an injustice. I stand strongly on my record of public service, including providing help that’s in the public interest to anyone, whether they have ever made a political contribution to me or not. My public service has always been guided by doing what’s best for Cincinnati. Please know this: I do not give up and will not give up. I intend to keep fighting– fighting these false allegations, fighting as your elected Council Member, and fighting for our city and its future. ” Sittenfeld said in a Tweet on Friday, November 20.