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Bengals Owner Mike Brown Didn't Force Cincinnati Councilman To Resign

Jeff Berding was elected to a seat on the Cincinnati Council in 2005, finishing in sixth place with the top nine having a spot on council. A Democrat before having a run-in with Mark Mallory, Berding ran without endorsement in 2009 and still reclaimed his seat, even though council is supposed to be nonpartisan in the first place. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Berding, who has one more term left before he reaches his term limit, is resigning his post within a few weeks.

But the question is, did Mike Brown force him to resign?

How the heck could Mike Brown have so much leverage and power in a region that despises him for a rich stadium deal that he struck with Hamilton County? He doesn't.

Jeff Berding's other job title is as the Bengals Director of Sales, which also oversees ticket sales. So it's natural for someone to wonder if the team's struggle to sellout the season's last four games caused Mike Brown to offer Berding a choice between council or with the organization? That would, of course, assume that Brown realizes the reasons for the team's four-game black out streak actually has reasons behind it -- such as fans no longer satisfied with the product on the field. And if you're being asked to choose between working with the Bengals or on City Council, then you'd be a fool to leave the organization because you never have to run the risk of being fired -- do you, Bob?

Berding quickly denied that Brown had any influence on his decision, saying:

"Mike Brown is not making me do this,'' Berding said of the Bengals' owner. "The Bengals have been extraordinarily generous to me."

The Bengals, he said, "have had significant losses in areas where I am responsible."