Human Relations Council meets for executive session following federal indictments

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Dayton Human Relations Council board held their first meeting Monday after one of its top members was indicted on federal corruption charges.

Last week, RoShawn Winburn, the director of the Minority Business Assistance Center, was accused of accepting bribes totaling more than $20,000. He faces six counts of fraud and corruption, and is accused of knowing confidential information about upcoming contracts, and influencing who they were awarded to.

Right now, the city is working with the Human Relations Council to determine if they were involved with Winburn’s alleged schemes – even removing some contract discussion from their latest city commission agenda.

The Minority Business Center is a leg of Dayton’s Human Relations Council that helps minority-owned or disadvantaged businesses obtain certain contracts and certificates.

The Human Relations Council’s Director, Erica Fields, tells 2 NEWS that a state organization and the Dayton Entrepreneurs Center are providing them with assistance, and says the Minority Businesses Assistance Center is still open.

“In the time being, the center is still open, it has not closed,” she says. “We are still working in conjunction with the Entrepreneurs Center to make sure that we have staff. We continue to provide services because it’s of utmost importance and it is a priority of ours to make sure that we do that.”

Fields did not specify which state agency is helping, nor what their exact role is. However, last week, a spokesperson with the Ohio Development Agency confirmed that they were helping in some way, but did not speak to their involvement.

Fields also did not say who is filling in as the Minority Assistance Center’s director nor when a new director would be named.

Winburn is currently out on bond with the next step of his pretrial defense taking place on May 16 with a council and chambers meeting between his attorney and presiding judge.

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