Change-of-plea hearing set in bribery case against ex-Orleans School Board member

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NEW ORLEANS — A change-of-plea hearing is set for March 26 in the case of Ira Thomas, who abruptly resigned from the New Orleans school board this month after being charged in a federal bribery case.

Thomas pleaded not-guilty at a hearing March 9. But he also waived his right to have a grand jury hear the case against him and he was charged in a bill of information. Both actions are signals that he was cooperating with prosecutors.

Prosecutors allege that Thomas took a $5,000 bribe to help an unidentified person get a school system janitorial services contract. Prosecutors say there is recorded evidence to back up the charge.

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