Man accused of bribery pleads not guilty

A former Brownsville building inspector accused of soliciting a bribe for the final approval of a gas station waived the reading of the one-count indictment against him, pleading not guilty to the charge.

A former Brownsville building inspector accused of soliciting a bribe for the final approval of a gas station waived the reading of the one-count indictment against him, pleading not guilty to the charge.

A Cameron County grand jury on Aug. 8 charged Antonio Manuel Zamorano, 26, with allegedly soliciting, agreeing or accepting a cash bribe from Romualdo Ortiz and Maryan Sabohi for the issuance of a City of Brownsville inspection approval certificate, according to the indictment.

Brownsville police arrested the man March 15 at City Plaza, and interim City Manager Michael Lopez fired him.

According to a police report, a witness contacted the Brownsville Police Department on March 5 to report a possible bribe.

Zamorano has maintained his innocence.

“I believe I was falsely accused, sir,” Zamorano told a municipal judge after his arrest.

Zamorano is free on a $25,000 bond and had worked for the city since 2016.