Toledo lawyer named in federal bribery case dies


The contested attorney, accused of forwarding bribes to Toledo city councilor Yvonne Harper, died after being in hospice care.

TOLEDO, Ohio – Keith Mitchell, the contested Toledo attorney who was indicted in a federal bribery case allegedly involving several members of Toledo City Council, has died at the age of 70.

Mitchell, who was in poor health, recently received approval from US Judge James Carr to leave the Toledo area to be cared for by his daughter in Atlanta while receiving hospice care.

He died on April 1st after applying to travel to Atlanta on March 29th and receiving the petition on March 30th. A March 30 trial states: “It appears that the defendant’s daughter removed the defendant from this district.”

Mitchell was in hospice care and his only child, a daughter, lives in Atlanta and wanted him to be taken there so that she could take care of him in his final days.

Mitchell was arrested on June 30th along with Toledo City Council members Yvonne Harper (District 4), Larry Sykes (At-Large), Tyrone Riley (District 1) and Gary Johnson (At-Large). They are charged with federal bribery and extortion for alleged bribes.

Mitchell pleaded not guilty in July and waived his right to appear on charges.

The four Democratic councilors from Toledo and Mitchell are all mentioned in the complaint for their roles in an alleged 2013 bribery scandal.

The program allegedly encouraged the solicitation and / or acceptance of cash, checks, money orders, or other valuable items from local business owners in exchange for the councilors’ votes. The grand total was calculated to be about $ 34,000.

Mitchell is accused of passing on the bribes for Harper.

The five were indicted by a grand jury in July. The updated fees are:

  • Riley: a number of conspiracies and five numbers of extortions
  • Harper: a number of conspiracies, two numbers of extortions, and a number of conspiracies to commit extortion
  • Mitchell: a number of conspiracies and two numbers of extortions
  • Johnson: a number of conspiracies and two numbers of extortions
  • Sykes: a number of conspiracies and two numbers of extortions

Council members are currently suspended from their council duties and continue to earn $ 27,500 per year in salaries while they are suspended as the trial continues.