Top 7 Most CORRUPT Cities in Ohio

Ohio boasts a compelling blend of rich history, culture, and a robust economy. However, beneath its surface lies a shadowy side—corruption. This pervasive issue seeps into many of the state’s cities, where a nexus of public officials, business leaders, and criminals exploit their positions for personal gain. Corruption manifests in various forms, including bribery, fraud, extortion, embezzlement, nepotism, and racketeering, affecting sectors such as politics, law enforcement, education, healthcare, and sports. This malfeasance erodes trust, integrity, and the effectiveness of public institutions, jeopardizing the well-being and rights of citizens.

In this blog, we’ll explore the top 7 most corrupt cities in Ohio, assessing their corruption levels based on recent scandals, investigations, and convictions. We’ll delve into notorious cases that have rocked these cities and examine the resulting consequences.

7. Cincinnati

As Ohio’s third-largest city, Cincinnati serves as the economic and cultural hub of the southwestern region. Despite being home to Fortune 500 companies and major sports teams, the city grapples with corruption, particularly within its city council. Since 2018, four council members have faced federal charges. Notably, Tamaya Dennard, elected in 2017, pleaded guilty in 2020 to accepting $15,000 in bribes for a vote on a development project. Another council member, Jeff Pastor, faces multiple charges for alleged bribery, extortion, and money laundering.

6. Toledo

Toledo, the state’s fourth-largest city, stands as the industrial and commercial center of the northwestern region. While known for its manufacturing prowess, Toledo’s mayoral office has faced corruption challenges. Carty Finkbeiner, mayor from 1994 to 2002 and 2006 to 2010, pleaded guilty in 2012 to accepting $30,000 in bribes. In 2020, the city’s current mayor, Wade Kapszukiewicz, was charged with bribery, extortion, money laundering, wire fraud, and conspiracy.

5. Akron

Akron, Ohio’s fifth-largest city and the cultural capital of the northeastern region, grapples with corruption in its school district. Joseph R. Morris, the chief operating officer of Akron Public Schools from 2012 to 2019, orchestrated a scheme defrauding the district of over $3 million. He pleaded guilty in 2020. Akron’s former school superintendent, David W. James, faces charges of bribery, extortion, money laundering, wire fraud, and conspiracy.

4. Youngstown

As the ninth-largest city in Ohio, Youngstown, the Mahoning Valley’s economic and cultural heart, confronts corruption in its judicial system. Martin P. Yavorcik, a candidate for Mahoning County prosecutor in 2008, was convicted in 2016 for bribery, racketeering, money laundering, and tampering with records. Another case involves Matthew A. Blair, a judge in the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas, facing charges of bribery, extortion, money laundering, wire fraud, and conspiracy.

3. Dayton

Dayton, Ohio’s sixth-largest city and aerospace hub, faces corruption issues within its city commission. Joey D. Williams, a city commissioner from 2002 to 2019, pleaded guilty in 2019 to accepting $57,000 in bribes. Roshawn Winburn, the director of the city’s Minority Business Assistance Center, faces charges of bribery, extortion, money laundering, wire fraud, and conspiracy.

2. Canton

Canton, Ohio’s eighth-largest city and football capital, grapples with corruption in its police department. Kenneth M. Foltz Sr., a police officer from 1996 to 2019, pleaded guilty in 2020 to charges of sexually abusing and exploiting multiple women. Another officer, Eric M. Stanbro, faces charges of bribery, extortion, money laundering, wire fraud, and conspiracy.

1. Cleveland

Cleveland, Ohio’s second-largest city and cultural hub, confronts a prolonged corruption scandal within its county government. Jimmy Dimora, county commissioner from 1999 to 2010, was convicted in 2012 of leading a criminal enterprise involving over 60 public officials and contractors. Frank G. Russo, the county auditor from 1997 to 2010, pleaded guilty to corruption-related charges, including accepting over $1 million in bribes.

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