Ex-lawmaker to plead not guilty to bribery charge


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- An ex-Ohio state lawmaker charged earlier this week in an FBI sting is expected to plead not guilty to charges of bribery, election falsification and filing a false ethics statement.

An attorney for W. Carlton Weddington said he would enter the plea at an arraignment set for Friday.

Weddington, a Columbus Democrat, resigned his Ohio House seat Tuesday and surrendered to authorities. An indictment against him alleges he accepted all-expenses-paid trips to South Beach, Miami, and California's Napa Valley from a fake business entity set up by the FBI. The entity sought to exchange trips, cash and campaign contributions for legislation that Weddington would introduce.

Authorities declined to divulge the name of the phony business.

The 41-year-old Weddington faces 4-1/2 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

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