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L.A. County deputy pleads not guilty to alleged ticket-fixing

L.A. County deputy pleads not guilty to alleged ticket-fixing
Six Whittier police officers say they were retaliated against for refusing to meet ticket quotas. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy who once helped the FBI in a corruption probe of sheriff's officials pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that he accepted bribes in return for fixing traffic tickets.

Edwin Allan Tamayo, 44, entered his plea in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom when he was formally arraigned in connection with the alleged ticket-fixing scheme, his lawyer said.

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Tamayo's attorney, Jacob Glucksman, said he was in discussion with the district attorney's office to try to settle the criminal case. He declined to elaborate.

County prosecutors filed charges earlier this month against Tamayo, accusing the 13-year Sheriff's Department veteran of accepting $1,000 in cash from a motorist at an Islands restaurant in Agoura Hills in exchange for fixing three traffic tickets in 2012.

Tamayo, who worked at the department's Lost Hills station, is also accused of fixing a ticket for a person who donated $500 in 2011 to sponsor a Sheriff's Department group at a golf tournament held by the Malibu Chamber of Commerce. The deputy played in one of two department foursomes that participated in the tournament, according to a copy of the charges provided by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

Tamayo is accused of fixing a total of eight tickets, including one that was referred to him by a lieutenant whose acquaintance had been issued a citation. In another case, he is accused of falsely certifying that a motorist who was cited for illegally tinted windows had corrected the problem.

The charges -- which include accepting bribes, preparing false documentary evidence and conspiring to obstruct justice -- carry up to nine years and eight months in prison, according to a district attorney's spokesman.

While sheriff's investigators conducted an internal investigation of Tamayo, the deputy wore a wire for the FBI and secretly recorded a Sheriff's Department supervisor as part of a federal investigation into allegations of improper campaign fundraising, the deputy and his attorneys told The Times last year.

The federal investigation has not resulted in charges.

Tamayo's next hearing is July 15.

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