On Nov. 19, FBI agents arrested Cincinnati City Council member P.G. Sittenfeld at his home on a six-count federal indictment for bribery and extortion.
He’s accused of accepting $40,000 in campaign contributions — still considered a bribe — for votes on a development deal.
In a video posted later to social media, Sittenfeld proclaimed his innocence and vowed to “keep fighting these false allegations, fighting as your elected council member, and fighting for our city and its future.”
Between then and now, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced his intentions to seek Sittenfeld's suspension, stating that it would be "foolish to ignore the risk of allowing him to wield public power under indictment."
On Monday, Dec. 7, Sittenfeld announced his decision to temporarily step down from his seat via a video on Twitter.
We're going to fight these false allegations, show my innocence, and when we do, I can't wait to get back to work for our city. pic.twitter.com/feAUiTlPPy— P.G. Sittenfeld (@PGSittenfeld) December 7, 2020
"The way I can best get back to serving you is to deal with the situation head on, which is why today I'm voluntarily agreeing to temporarily step aside for my seat on council so that I can aggressively pursue clearing my name and, after achieving justice, then immediately resume my seat on the city council and my service to our city," Sittenfeld said.
In the video, he explains that "enduring false allegations, inaccurate stories, and having some folks not be willing to wait to get the complete and accurate facts" has been hard on himself and his family. And that "no one is more eager than I am for all of the facts to come to light and for the truth to be revealed," which he says will show his innocence in the matter.