Vanessa Lowery Brown

Vanessa Lowery Brown

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) _ The government’s operative in an undercover investigation that’s resulted in charges against five current or former Pennsylvania state lawmakers says he wasn’t directed to seek out minorities.

Tyron Ali testified in court Monday for the first time as prosecutors try their case against Democratic Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown of Philadelphia

Ali was responding to questions from Brown’s lawyer, Patrick Casey, who alleges the case is built on selective prosecution of Black lawmakers.

Prosecutors say Brown accepted $4,000 in five payments from Ali posing as a lobbyist and didn’t report the money as campaign contributions or gifts.

She’s charged with bribery and eight other counts. Four other current and former lawmakers pleaded guilty or no contest in the case.

Philadelphia prosecutors filed charges after Attorney General Kathleen Kane dropped the case, citing concerns over racial motivation.

 

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