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Law Professor: Sittenfeld Indictment May Be Prosecutorial Overreach

Council Member P.G. Sittenfeld announced the creation of a Rapid Response Network surrounded by community members Thursday, July 25, at City Hall.
Council Member P.G. Sittenfeld announced the creation of a Rapid Response Network surrounded by community members Thursday, July 25, at City Hall.

Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld was the third member of council arrested on federal corruption charges this year, but one local law professor believes that this particular case may be an example of prosecutorial overreach.

Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law Professor Ken Katkin wrote an op-ed in CityBeat where he expressed concern about the charges against the councilman.

From the op-ed:

It may be unfortunate that political campaigns in America are financed by the private sector. But accepting contributions from donors (including self-interested businesses) who approve of an elected official’s job performance is not a crime. It’s the way American political campaigns are financed. For that reason, without a clear quid pro quo, the government may be overreaching when it characterizes Ndukwe’s donation as an act of bribery, or Sittenfeld’s solicitation as a criminal act of extortion.

Sittenfeld pleaded not guilty and said that he plans to fight the charges.

Ken Katkin joins Cincinnati Edition to discuss his perspective on the case.

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