Three Former Toledo City Council Members Plead Guilty to Conspiracy and Bribery Charges
Friday, December 16, 2022
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Ohio
TOLEDO – Three former Toledo City Council members pleaded guilty today to accepting bribery payments during their time in office in return for their support and votes on legislative matters.
Tyrone Riley and Larry Sykes both pleaded guilty to one count of Hobbs Act extortion under color of official right, and Yvonne Harper pleaded guilty to one count of Hobbs Act conspiracy.
Garrick Johnson was also charged in this matter and is scheduled to appear in front of a federal jury on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023.
According to court documents, on multiple occasions from May 2018 through February 2020, Riley, Harper, and Sykes accepted bribery payments in return for their official support and votes on legislative matters as members of the Toledo City Council.
Court documents state that Riley, Harper, and Sykes each accepted cash payments in return for their support and votes on zoning changes and “special use permits” (SUPs) for local businesses.
Court documents show that during this time, Riley accepted more than $5,000 in payments and meals in return for his support on five occasions related to zoning changes and SUPs for businesses. Additionally, on two occasions, Harper accepted more than $5,000 in return for her support of zoning changes and SUPs for businesses. Sykes accepted, on two occasions, approximately $1,500 for his support of SUPs.
Riley, Harper, and Sykes are scheduled to be sentenced in June 2023.
This case was investigated by the Cleveland Division of the FBI, Toledo Resident Agency. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael J. Freeman and Jody L. King.U.S. Department of Justice Press Release