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Trial date set in Wendell Young 'Gang of Five' evidence-tampering case

Was special council meeting a waste of time?
Posted at 12:36 PM, Jun 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-23 08:15:00-04

CINCINNATI — The trial of City Councilman Wendell Young will begin in December, a Hamilton County judge decided Tuesday morning.

In April, special prosecutor Patrick Hanley announced that a grand jury had indicted Young on a tampering with evidence charge related to the 2018 "Gang of Five" text messaging scandal.

The scandal that sparked the years-delayed indictment revolved around a group of council members — Young, plus fellow Democrats P.G. Sittenfeld, Tamaya Dennard, Greg Landsman and Chris Seelbach — who admitted they had texted and emailed each other about city business. Their actions violated Ohio’s Open Meetings Act, which requires all public meetings be open to public viewing.

Hanley said Young knowingly destroyed parts of that text correspondence despite a judge's order not to do so.

Both City Council and the Ohio Supreme Court have decided not to suspend Young from his seat while he remains under indictment.

His trial will begin Dec. 6, 2021. By that time, Young will have been term-limited out of office.