NO officer pleads not guilty to accepting bribes
NEW ORLEANS - A 37-year veteran of the New Orleans Police Department has pleaded not guilty to a felony count of public bribery.
Officer John Ray, who has been with the department since 1975, is accused of accepting $600 in bribes from a tow-truck company between 2010 and 2011.
Ray faces up to five years in prison if found guilty as charged. His attorney, Eric Hessler, says Ray is "confident he will be vindicated."
Ray was assigned to the department's Towing and Recovery Unit, which maintains a rotating list of qualified towing companies. He's accused of accepting cash from a company and in exchange allowed only its drivers to haul equipment from one city tow zone.
Ray's next court appearance is Feb. 1.
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