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Civilian Suit Seeks To Remove Pastor From Office

Eric Clajus

A Cincinnati resident is suing to remove Jeff Pastor from office. The city councilman was indicted earlier this month on 10 counts of extortion, wire fraud, money laundering and accepting bribes.

Christopher McDowell and his attorney Curt Hartman argue that Pastor should be removed because he allegedly accepted money from a contractor in exchange for favorable votes. U.S. Attorney Dave DeVillers says Pastor accepted $55,000 over the course of a year.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has already asked the state Supreme Court to suspend Pastor.

Pastor is the second council member this year accused of misconduct. Tamaya Dennard was arrested in February for wire fraud, extortion and bribery. She pled guilty in June to honest services wire fraud. Dennard resigned from council March 2.

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley is among several public officials who have called upon Pastor to resign.

Pastor's attorney, Benjamin Dusin, argued against a rush to judgement. On Friday, Dusin said the evidence hasn't come out and yet and may paint a different picture than what prosecutors have said. Dusin says his client is "committed to doing the right thing."

A pretrial hearing is set for Nov. 24.

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Rinehart has been a radio reporter since 1994 with positions in markets like Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio: and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.