CINCINNATI (AP) — A former Cincinnati City Council member has been sentenced to 16 months in federal prison on bribery and attempted extortion convictions.
U.S. District Court Judge Douglas Cole imposed the sentence Tuesday on 37-year-old P.G. Sittenfeld, who had been considered a top contender for the mayor’s office before he was indicted in November 2020.
Sittenfeld was convicted of the two charges but acquitted of four other counts by a jury that deliberated for more than 12 hours last year. He maintained his innocence after he was accused of accepting $40,000 in payments to his political action committee to “deliver the votes” in the council for a proposed downtown real estate development.
Prosecutors sought a 33-month to 41-month term while Sittenfeld asked for house arrest or community service.
Prosecutors said in a sentencing memorandum that Sittenfeld tried ’to extract financial contributions out of individuals who regularly conducted city business,” making it clear that his support for their business “was tied directly to their contributions to him.”
“This is not faithful public service or even ‘politics as usual’ − this is corruption,” prosecutors said, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Sittenfeld’s attorneys said the prosecution’s theory of the case “erased the clear line between everyday campaign contributions and felony corruption.”