February 17, 2021 •
Cincinnati Voters Will Decide on Two Charter Amendments in May
Two proposed charter amendments establishing procedures to handle council members indicted for crimes will be on the ballot for voter approval on May 4.
There is currently no process in the Cincinnati Charter and three of the nine council members were indicted on federal bribery charges last year.
Both proposals prohibit indicted council members from changing their successor designee.
Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman’s proposed amendment requires the city solicitor to hire a special prosecutor to consider removal of the council member to eliminate potential conflicts of interest.
A second amendment proposed by Councilwoman Betsy Sundermann permits removal of an indicted council member with a vote by seven of their fellow council members, and if convicted, five council members can vote to remove within 10 days of the conviction.
If no vote is taken, the convicted council member automatically forfeits his or her seat on the 11th day.
Sundermann’s proposal also makes ethics training mandatory for all council members.
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