Ex-New Orleans School Official Set For Plea Hearing

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A former New Orleans school board member who pleaded not guilty to corruption charges is set for a change-of-plea hearing.

         The Wednesday afternoon hearing for Ira Thomas comes more than two months after U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite announced that Thomas had been indicted in a federal bribery case.

         Thomas has resigned from the Orleans Parish School Board and as police chief at Southern University in New Orleans.

         Thomas pleaded not guilty on March 9. But he also waived his right to have a grand jury hear the case against him and he was charged in a bill of information — signals that he was cooperating with prosecutors.

         Prosecutors allege that Thomas took a $5,000 bribe to help an unidentified person get a school system janitorial services contract.




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