(CINCINNATI, Ohio) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost today filed a request to force the suspension of Cincinnati City Councilman Jeffrey Pastor, who is facing felony charges of bribery, extortion, wire fraud, money laundering and other crimes.
“When an elected official puts personal gain ahead of public service, he or she cannot be trusted to act for the good of the public and must be removed from office, at the very least during the pendency of the charges,” Yost said. “Ohioans deserve government that is free of public corruption at every level.”
The attorney general’s request to commence suspension proceedings, filed in the Ohio Supreme Court, cites the Nov. 4, 2020, indictment of Pastor on 10 felony counts in the U.S. District Court of Ohio. The alleged criminal conduct came to light as part of a law enforcement investigation that included the cooperation of two real estate developers and an undercover law enforcement officer.
Yost sought to initiate the suspension proceedings under Ohio Revised Code 3.16, which authorizes the suspension of a public official who, like Pastor, has been charged with a felony in a state or federal court when the felony relates to the performance of the official’s duties.
“In a shocking lack of integrity,” Yost’s request states, “Pastor violated the public trust by offering his council vote and his potential influence over matters appearing before the City Council in exchange for his own personal gain.”
Pastor, who to date has declined to give up the council position, is not the first public official recently accused of corruption in office. During his two-year tenure as Ohio attorney general, Yost has called for the suspension or resignation of Toledo City Council members as well the former Sandusky County prosecutor, former Pike County sheriff and former House Speaker Larry Householder.