By Herald Staff

City Councilmember Wendell Young said Tuesday he is accusing Mayor John Cranley of bribery after receiving a call last Saturday from Cranley regarding Young’s vote on the severance package for City Manager Harry Black, who Cranley is trying to remove from office.

A majority of five council members are blocking the severance package.

“He (Cranley) has been attempting to shop around to various members of the city council for their vote,’’ Young said in a statement released by his office late Tuesday afternoon. “Mayor Cranley asked me what I wanted from him for my vote in supporting his ordinance that would pay the city manager more than $400,000. I told him absolutely nothing and hung up.’’

Young said the call troubled him as he has worked in law enforcement and felt that there was something wrong with the offer. He called the Ohio Ethics Commission about the call on Monday, and the investigator he talked to suggested he contact law enforcement officials, as he felt there is a potential bribery case against the mayor, Young said.

Young said he was headed for the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Wednesday, where he plans to file a bribery complaint against Cranley.

He said he would not comment further until he met with a U.S. attorney.

The city council had been scheduled to vote on a severance package for Black last week, but Cranley pulled the $423,767 deal from the agenda.

Cranley asked Black to resign from the city manager job two weeks ago following a controversy in police department and other issues allegedly about Black’s management style.

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