Plea Deal Offered to Graham Aide in Taxi Bribe Case
Friday, October 16, 2009; 4:21 PM
A federal prosecutor disclosed in court Friday that he had extended a plea deal to Ted G. Loza, a top staffer to a prominent D.C. Council member who is accused of accepting bribes.
Loza's attorney, Pleasant S. Brodnax, said he would review the offer before commenting further.
Loza, 44, is accused of accepting $1,500 in bribes and free trips from an undercover FBI informant in exchange for pushing legislation that would benefit some in the taxi industry. The informant, Abdulaziz Kamus, an advocate for Ethiopian taxi drivers, wore a recording device while giving Loza the cash, according to court records.
Loza, the chief of staff to Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), was arrested last month and has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
At a brief hearing Friday, U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman set a March 30 trial date. More than 30 community members attended the hearing to support Loza.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John Crabb disclosed the existence of the plea offer during the hearing and said it would expire in two weeks. He declined to comment as he left the courtroom.