DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A former Detroit deputy police chief has pleaded guilty to accepting money from a city contractor but denies that she did him any favors in return.

Celia Washington, 57, appeared in federal court Tuesday where she admitted to a judge that she knew Gasper Fiore was trying to influence her with an envelope containing $3,000.

However, according to her lawyer, Washington thought the money was a loan.

“She made a mistake, she accepted the money,” said Attorney Arnold Reed. “She never changed the (towing) rotation, never lifted a finger to change the rotation. Under federal law, when you accept money from somebody knowing what they want, that consummates a criminal act.”

Washington served as the police department’s legal adviser, responsible for overseeing towing companies that remove cars seized by police. Fiore, who had towing contracts, has already pleaded guilty to bribing other officials to obtain various towing contracts in Detroit.

Judge David Lawson accepted the guilty plea to a charge of conspiracy to take a bribe, only after Washington acknowledged she had committed a crime.

Earlier, Washington said she was pleading guilty to end her case and avoid the uncertainty of a trial.

She faces up to two years in prison.

© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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