AG Yost Initiates Suspension Proceedings for Indicted Cleveland City Councilman

(CLEVELAND, Ohio) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost today filed a request to commence suspension proceedings against Kenneth Johnson, a Cleveland City Council member facing corruption charges.

“Sadly, it’s become routine for us to initiate suspension proceedings for indicted city council members – Ohioans deserve representation free of public corruption and we must constrain those that abuse their power,” Yost said. “The suspension of a public official facing charges of public corruption is the proper remedy while the criminal case is resolved.”

The attorney general’s request for the councilman’s suspension, filed in the Ohio Supreme Court, cites the Feb. 18 indictment of Johnson on 15 felony counts. Johnson is accused of engaging in two separate schemes to steal over $175,000 in federal grant money and also falsifying a number of official documents, including IRS tax returns for multiple years.

Yost sought to initiate the suspension proceedings under Ohio Revised Code Section 3.16, which authorizes the suspension of local public officials who, like Johnson, have been charged with a felony relating to their official duties.

Johnson is the latest city council member to be accused of corruption in office. In the last year, Yost has called for the suspension or resignation of four city councilmembers in Toledo and two in Cincinnati.