For the third time this year a Cincinnati councilperson was arrested for corruption. This time it is P.G. Sittenfeld. The previous two were Tamaya Dennard in February and Republican Jeff Pastor earlier this month.
The Cincy city council has been a nightmare for the city in which I used to live. Along the river, they built a new baseball stadium and a new football stadium over a dozen years ago. They left a large gap between the two that could be rented or sold at high prices. But, then the city council decided instead of handing out tax breaks to get companies to move in, they decided it would be a good idea to create more taxes.
As a result, the new mall and the aquarium bought land on the Kentucky side of the river in Covington. The land was far cheaper and they got some modest tax breaks. They are raking in money hand over fist and Cincy is left in the lurch. When I left, you drive through the middle of town without stopping unless you hit a light wrong.
Both Democrats and Republicans are calling on him to resign. They say they want to clean up the city. If he won’t resign, send his office to Over-the-Rhine. Then you can forget about him. Sittenfeld was selling his vote for cash and possibly other considerations.
“Given the events of three councilmembers arrested this year, we need to clean house,” Cranley said. “We need to clean up the legislative branch.”
Cranley said he will review all votes related to the deals outlined by the charges against the accused members of council.
In the case of Tamaya Dennard and Jeff Pastor – the two other council members charged with corruption – the motive seemed to be cash, Cranley said. Sittenfeld’s case seems worse, he said.
“In this case, it seems to be to accumulate power for power’s sake,” Cranley said. “In many ways that’s worse.”
Sundermann and councilmember Greg Landsman on Monday introduced proposed reforms, including the creation of a Cincinnati Ethics Commission and allowing for the recall of people in public office.
“We need to clear out those responsible for deteriorating the integrity of government,” Sunderman tweeted. “While I believe in the presumption of innocence, P.G. Sittenfeld needs to resign immediately and fight his case outside the walls of City Hall.”