A former Longwood chief of police accused of taking bribes from a convicted felon pleaded not guilty on Friday.
Authorities said Thomas Jackson, 57, took more than $30,000 in bribes from Samer Majzoub, 53, and in exchange appointed him to commander in the Longwood Police Department.
Jackson provided Majzoub, who is a convicted felon, with badges and credentials, according to authorities. Under Florida law, a convicted felon is not eligible to be employed or appointed as a law enforcement officer.
Jackson was arrested and indicted in September.
Authorities said Jackson held the position of Longwood police chief from 1997 to his retirement in 2010 and in that time accepted up to six different bribes from Majzoub. He and Majzoub are each charged with one count of conspiracy and three counts of bribery.
If convicted, Jackson and Majzoub could each face up to 35 years in prison.
Jackson has hired Robert Leventhal as his attorney. In the past, Leventhal has represented numerous political figures involved in criminal cases.