Ex-city official pleads guilty in South Florida bribery case

MIAMI (AP) — A former commissioner in the South Florida city of Opa-locka has pleaded guilty to federal bribery and extortion conspiracy charges.

Court records show 55-year-old Luis Santiago pleaded guilty Tuesday in Miami federal court. He faces a maximum of five years in prison at sentencing March 30.

Federal prosecutors say Santiago accepted thousands of dollars in bribes to help businesses with city permits, zoning, code enforcement and licenses. The conspiracy involved a former city manager and ex-public works director, both of whom have also pleaded guilty.

Former city manager David Chiverton was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to accepting bribes. Two others, works supervisor Gregory Harris and the mayor’s son, Corleon Taylor, also pleaded guilty to bribery charges.

The FBI is continuing to investigate corruption in Opa-locka and others may be charged.

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