An accountant who sought grant money for a nonprofit he founded is charged with bribing an elected official in Prince George's County, Maryland.
Felix Ayala of Rockville bribed Democrat Will Campos, then a County Council member, the U.S. attorney's office said. Campos later joined the House of Delegates.
"My client is not guilty," said Ayala's attorney, Richard Finci.
Ayala is charged with "bribery and making false statements in connection with a scheme to engage in bribery in order to influence a public official in the performance of his official duties," prosecutors said in a news release. They allege Ayala bribed Campos $5,000 for each of fiscal years 2012 through 2015 to receive $25,000 in grants for his organization, which he created to give scholarships to high school and college students.
Campos pleaded guilty last month to bribery and conspiracy. His arrest is linked to the Prince George's County liquor board raid that resulted in four initial arrests of elected officials and businessmen. He resigned in 2015 from the legislature.
Ayala was arrested the same day as Campos and initially denied payment until the FBI showed him pictures of the meetings. At one point during years of federal investigation, Campos wore a wire and cooperated with the FBI.
Ayala's son said his dad is not to blame.
The maximum sentence Ayala would face if convicted is 10 years in prison for bribery and five years in prison for false statements.