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Tamaya Dennard pleads guilty to honest services wire fraud in federal court Monday

Tamaya Dennard fed court.jpeg
Posted at 3:09 PM, Jun 29, 2020

Former Cincinnati City Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard pleaded guilty to honest services wire fraud in federal court Monday afternoon.

The guilty plea agreement was filed in court last week, in which Dennard agreed to plead guilty to honest services wire fraud. Prosecutors will drop the bribery and attempted extortion charges, according to the plea agreement. The plea agreement, which Dennard signed on June 19, also requires she repay the $15,000. The agreement does not preclude state or local officials from filing separate charges.

In court, after entering her guilty plea, Dennard admitted she accepted a total of $15,000 from a person doing business with the city, in exchange for her votes at City Hall. Judge Susan Dlott accepted the plea agreement. Dennard was able to leave, but will meet with a probation officer to put together a "pre-sentence" report later. Next, a judge will use that report to determine her sentence.

A judge could sentence Dennard to up to 20 years in prison with up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. A date for her sentencing has not yet been announced.

Late Monday, U.S. Attorney David Devillers of the Southern District of Ohio tweeted that Dennard "treated a bribe as if it was a perk of the job."

"The corruption itself is almost overshadowed by how shockingly entitled she seemed to the bribe," Devillers wrote.

Dennard resigned on March 2. A grand jury indicted her on March 11 with three counts of honest services wire fraud, two counts of bribery and two counts of attempted extortion. All of the charges carry a sentence of up to 50 years in prison.

FBI agents arrested Dennard at a Downtown Starbucks on Feb. 25 before a Cincinnati City Council committee meeting.

Read the full plea agreement below:

Dennard Plea Agreement by WCPO Web Team on Scribd