Ethics charges brought against former official

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The Louisiana Board of Ethics has made public conflict-of-interest charges against former East Baton Rouge Parish Alcoholic Beverage Control Board member Ralph Johnson.

The Advocate reports Johnson resigned from the board in October 2011 after his arrest on bribery and extortion charges by the state office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control.

Johnson allegedly accepted $1,500 and the promise of additional monthly payments from a business applying for a liquor permit.

The Ethics Board counts relate to the same incident involving a food market seeking a beer and liquor license. The request was opposed by the Melrose East Community Association, which Johnson served as executive director.

The Ethics Board said Johnson ran afoul of state laws by participating in a transaction before the ABC Board that involved MECA.

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