DETROIT (WXYZ) - Former Wayne County appointee Zayd Allebban pled not guilty on four federal charges in US District Court, a day after being indicted on charges of obstructing justice and falsifying documents.
Federal prosecutors allege Allebban created false records to hide a bribery scheme that involved Tahir Kazmi, Allebban's supervisor in the IT department.
"We are disappointed that the U.S. Attorney sought an indictment in this matter," Allebban's attorney Haytham Faraj said in a statement. "I hope we can avoid labeling people guilty because of their associations."
Faraj said that Allebban has cooperated throughout the entire process, and has no more information to share with prosecutors.
"He cooperated long before he talked to a lawyer, so he's empty of information," Faraj said. "If they have any more questions we would be happy to answer them, but I don't know if there's anything else to cooperate on."
Allebban's non-guilty plea comes days after Kazmi pled guilty to accepting bribes in exchange for multi-million dollar IT contracts for Phil Shisha.
According to the indictment, Allebban conspired with Kazmi to obstruct justice when they tried to convince Shisha to lie to the FBI and the grand jury investigating corruption in the Robert Ficano administration.
The indictment says Allebban delivered $24,000 in cash to keep Shisha quiet about the bribes. Additionally, prosecutors say Allebban created false documents to cover up the bribe payments made to Kazmi. If convicted, Allebban could face up to 20 years in prison.
"I had hoped by this point in the investigation the truth would have emerged, the U.S. attorney would have understood my position and my circumstances, but unfortunately that's not the case and we have to go further and put a little more effort into proving my innocence than originally thought," Allebban said.
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