Prince George's County Council Member Returns Donations From Liquor Businesses | NBC4 Washington

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Prince George's County Council Member Returns Donations From Liquor Businesses

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    A Prince George’s County, Maryland, Council member returned donations from liquor businesses as the FBI investigates a bribery conspiracy. County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins spoke with her. (Published Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017)

    A Prince George’s County, Maryland, Council member returned donations from liquor businesses as the FBI investigates a bribery conspiracy.

    First-term Council member Deni Taveras replaced Will Campos on the council. Campos pleaded guilty for his role in a pay-to-play scheme involving county liquor businesses.

    After learning the details of his case, Taveras decided to return some donor money "as an overabundance of caution," she said, adding she didn’t feel comfortable. Giving the money back was her own decision, Taveras said.

    "Some of the individuals that were named in the initial affidavit donated to my campaign, such as some of the liquor stores, and that's the money that I gave back," she said.

    How much money she gave back is unclear.

    Last week the FBI unsealed the arrest of Campos, revealing he funneled county money into nonprofit organizations that was later returned to him in kickbacks.

    In a statement Campos admitted his wrongdoing and said that he cooperated with the FBI and even wore a wire.

    Campos was elected to the General Assembly in 2014 and resigned in September 2015.

    As part of his plea agreement, Campos will be required pay restitution of at least $340,000. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison when he is sentenced on April 10.

    Campos campaigned for Taveras.

    "Even when people started to mention his name, I was in the position where I just didn't believe that," she said.

    On opening day of the Maryland legislature, now former Del. Michael Vaughn submitted his letter of resignation citing health concerns. State Senate President Mike Miller said Vaughn also is under investigation by the FBI and is expected to be arrested.