A Hamilton County judge has called for the resignations of five Cincinnati City Council members who admitted to using secret texts and emails to conduct city business.
Judge Robert Ruehlman also said Thursday that they should reimburse taxpayers for the more than $100,000 the city is paying to settle a lawsuit brought against them by conservative activists for violating Ohio's open meetings law. The judge made his comments while approving the deal.
The council members are all Democrats, comprising a majority of the nine-member panel. Ruehlman is a Republican. Ruehlman says "no city voter should ever vote for them again."
The council members are Tamaya Dennard, Greg Landsman, Chris Seelbach, P.G. Sittenfeld and Wendell Young. None has indicated any plans to resign. Many of their texts involed former city manager Harry Black, and many were directed against Mayor John Cranley, also a Democrat.