15 months for Ohio lobbyist for extortion in bribery scandal

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio lobbyist has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for extortion in a scandal involving the bribery of Columbus public officials by a traffic-camera company trying to keep its contracts with the city.

Authorities say 61-year-old John Raphael extorted money in the form of campaign contributions for elected officials from Phoenix-based Redflex for contracts awarded by the Columbus City Council.

He pleaded guilty last fall to one count of interference with commerce by threats and was sentenced Wednesday by federal judge Michael Watson.

The Columbus Dispatch reports Raphael told Watson in court he had not hidden anything from the government during the investigation.

Former Redflex CEO Karen Finley pleaded guilty to bribery charges last summer.

comments powered by Disqus