Those accused in the bribery scandal made their first court appearance late Saturday, and are headed back to court tomorrow.
Thirty-nine people, most of them cabbies, told the judge that they are innocent of the charges. Prosecutors allege the suspects paid more than $300,000 in bribes to get cab licenses from Taxicab Commission Chairman Leon Swain Jr.
The two-year investigation by the FBI came to a head last week after Ted G. Loza, chief of staff for D.C. Councilman Jim Graham, was arrested and charged with taking bribes to influence taxi legislation. Loza has pleaded not guilty. Graham, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing, has defended his longtime aide, saying Loza did nothing wrong.
The arrested cabbies are scheduled to head back to federal court on Monday. If convicted, they would face up to five years in prison.