Liz Keating addresses the public after being appointed to serve on Cincinnati City Council as P.G. Sittenfeld’s interim replacement. Photo provided by WCPO
By: Abby Dawn
CINCINNATI — Judge Ralph Winkler appointed Liz Keating to serve as an interim replacement for suspended Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld.
Keating, 37, is a business professional who has experience working for local charities and nonprofits, Winkler said.
Winkler said he selected Keating for the role because she is high energy, has deep roots in Cincinnati and promises to bring light to City Hall and “clean it up.”
“Liz has the highest integrity of anyone who applied for this job … she’s just going to be a great member of Council,” Winkler said.
Winkler appointed Keating at 9:30 a.m. Friday in his courtroom.
Sittenfeld announced on Dec. 7 that he would “temporarily” step down from his seat as he faces several charges in a federal bribery case.
A federal grand jury indicted Sittenfeld, 36, last month on charges of honest services wire fraud, bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds and attempted extortion under color of official right. He is accused of accepting $40,000 in exchange for votes on City Council.
About 20 people applied to serve as Sittenfeld’s replacement, but Keating stood out, in part, because of her resilience; she has been passed over for the last three appointments to City Council, Winkler said.
Filling Sittenfeld’s seat is the second city council appointment Winkler has made in less than three weeks. On Nov. 30, Winkler appointed Steve Goodin to serve as Councilman Jeff Pastor’s temporary replacement.
Like Sittenfeld, Pastor also faces federal public corruption charges and voluntarily took temporary suspension pending those proceedings.
Per Ohio statute, the Hamilton County Probate Court appoints a Cincinnati City Council member’s replacement in the case of a suspension. If Sittenfeld is found guilty of the charges or resigns in the meantime, a Democrat on Council would select his replacement rather than Winkler, a Republican.
Reposted with permission from WCPO 9 Cincinnati.