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  'Send a little help to me today.' How the Tamaya Dennard alleged bribery scandal unfolded
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ContributorIndyGeorgia 
Last EditedIndyGeorgia  Nov 19, 2020 09:13am
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CategoryInvestigation
AuthorSharon Coolidge, Dan Horn, and Kevin Grasha
News DateTuesday, February 25, 2020 09:45:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionCincinnati City Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard was arrested Tuesday on federal charges of wire fraud, bribery and attempted extortion for what authorities say was an attempt to sell her council vote for money.

Dennard, 40, was picked up by FBI agents Tuesday morning on her way to a Starbucks in downtown Cincinnati and appeared hours later in U.S. District Court wearing handcuffs and leg irons.

The charges are connected to Dennard's dealings with an unnamed federal source who provided the FBI with text messages and recordings of conversations with the councilwoman between August and December 2019.

During those conversations, according to a federal affidavit unsealed Tuesday, Dennard agreed to give her support to a proposed land swap necessary for construction of a music venue at The Banks development on Cincinnati's riverfront.

"Dennard engaged in a scheme to defraud the citizens of Cincinnati of her honest services as a council member," FBI agent Nathan Holbrook said in the affidavit. "She engaged in acts and attempted acts of bribery and extortion, attempting to exchange her votes for money."

Holbrook said Dennard repeatedly told the unnamed source she needed money to cover personal expenses, including a car and rent. But days after Dennard secured a total of $15,000 from the unnamed source, Holbrook said, she spent more than $4,000 on a trip with a friend to the Opal Sands Resort in Clearwater Beach, Florida.
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