President Trump made a major promise during his 2016 campaign to end corruption within the government, or to “drain the swamp.” It’s become so common for government officials to bend the law to benefit themselves, it almost seemed as if Americans were okay with it.
But since Trump took over the presidency—and appointed tough prosecutors and investigators within the DOJ—things began to happen. Over the last few years, we’ve learned about how the FBI has arrested leaders in state and local governments for various crimes (see the former mayor of Baltimore).
Now, we are learning about yet another major sting, involving 1/3 of the leadership of a major U.S. city:
The FBI on Tuesday arrested a local attorney and four members of the city council in Toledo, Ohio, for their alleged participation in a bribery and extortion scheme…
“As alleged in the Complaint, four Toledo City Council members and a local attorney have been engaged in a pay-to-play scheme involving bribes for Council votes,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said in a statement to Fox News Wednesday. “Maintaining the public’s trust in its elected officials is one of the Department of Justice’s core responsibilities.”
According to the charges, four members of Toledo’s city council, along with a local attorney, were given benefits in exchange for votes. The FBI is saying they accepted cash, checks, and other items of value from local business owners. All so they could influence these leaders’ votes.
It appears all too often politicians trade their influence to get rich quick. The temptation to abuse their power for monetary gain seems too great to resist. This happens so often on the local level, with repercussions felt across communities.
Citizens of Toledo should ask how many recent laws were passed because businesses were allegedly bribing these council members. One-third of the council is enough to sway close votes. Major legislation, which could have affected the lives of residents, might have been impacted because of this “pay-to-play” scheme.
Yet another question must be raised, in light of this news: how many more city council members, across the entire country, are engaged in similar schemes? If leaders from this Ohio town are doing it, what about leaders in larger cities like San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and more?
Such a development is a reminder to all Americans that our democracy must be defended and that only leaders who promise to protect law and order just be elected.
FBI has charged 1/3 of Toledo’s city council of bribery and extortion.
The agency claims these leaders were running a “pay-for-play” scheme.
This situation highlights the ongoing concerns of corruption within our government.