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Dayton City Officials Respond To Corruption Allegations

Dayton City Manager Shelly Dickstein
Jerry Kenney
Dayton City Manager Shelly Dickstein faces reporters at City Hall, "We have a committed group of 1,900-plus employees who get up every day to make a difference in this community and when something like this happens it's a real black cloud."

Late Tuesday, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley issued a statement commenting on the indictments and arrests of former city commissioner Joey Williams, two other public officials and a Dayton-area business owner. U.S. Department of Justice and FBI officials handed down the indictments alleging public corruption and fraud in Dayton, and city commissioners are following suit with their own comments.

Williams, along with current director of the Dayton Human Relations Council Minority Business Assistance Center Roshawn Winburn, business owner and former state lawmaker Clayton Luckie, and entrepreneur Brian Higgins, were arrested Tuesday on charges ranging from bribery, wire fraud and public corruption.

In her statement, Whaley says she is  “sad for our city” and reiterated a statement delivered earlier in the day by City Manager Shelley Dickstein, that the city is fully cooperating with federal authorities.

On Wednesday, City Commissioners Matt Joseph and Darryl Fairchild also issued statements supporting the city manager’s investigation of the city’s contracting process. Dickstein has hired a law firm to conduct that inquiry.

Joseph says he’s “shocked and angry” over the indictments and vowed to find any other “bad actors.”

Fairchild says he’s “unsettled by the allegations” revealed Tuesday. He also called it unprofessional and prejudicial for the Department of  Justice “to characterize Dayton-area politics... as 'a culture of corruption.'"

On Wednesday evening, Commissioner Chris Shaw released a statement saying, "This City is full of devoted employees who work every day to provide high quality services to the residents of Dayton and we will continue to do so."

Gov. Mike DeWine also weighed in. He told the Dayton Daily News he doesn’t believe there is a “culture of corruption” in Dayton politics, though DOJ officials say more indictments are expected.

DOJ officials say the Tuesday indictments are just the first wave of charges to come and the investigation has now moved from a covert, or undisclosed, inquiry to an overt one in which public assistance is now requested.

Jerry began volunteering at WYSO in 1991 and hosting Sunday night's Alpha Rhythms in 1992. He joined the YSO staff in 2007 as Morning Edition Host, then All Things Considered. He's hosted Sunday morning's WYSO Weekend since 2008 and produced several radio dramas and specials . In 2009 Jerry received the Best Feature award from Public Radio News Directors Inc., and was named the 2023 winner of the Ohio Associated Press Media Editors Best Anchor/News Host award. His current, heart-felt projects include the occasional series Bulletin Board Diaries, which focuses on local, old-school advertisers and small business owners. He has also returned as the co-host Alpha Rhythms.
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