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Two Former Forsyth City Councilmen Plead Guilty to Accepting Bribes in Federal Court

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) -- Former Forsyth City Councilmen James Calloway and Desi Hansford in federal court Monday morning, pleaded guilty to accepting bribes.

A news release from Michael Moore, the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, said the two entered written plea agreements which could land them up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Here's what Calloway and Hansford admitted to in their plea, according to Moore's release:

On December 27, 2012 Calloway solicited a $20,000 bribe from a water and waste management company to guarantee it won the contract for the City. The company notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation and cooperated with the agency during the investigation.

The investigation showed part of the motive in soliciting payment was to help Hansford from foreclosing on his home.

On January 18, 2013, the two men met with a representative from the company at a truck stop off I-75 in Jackson, Georgia. Per the FBI's request, the representative recorded that meeting and paid the men $10,000, which they split evenly.

A week later, on January 25, a second payment of $10,000 was delivered to Calloway. After he recieved that payment he was arrested, and then confessed. He also said he received two Falcons playoff tickets from the company which he shared with Hansford.

After that, Calloway cooperated with the goverment and payed Hansford his share of the second payment. Hansford was subsequently arrested.

In response to the pleas, Moore said this:

"The oath of public office is a sacred thing, and those who choose to seek public office should know that they must not betray the public's trust. Bribes have no place in government contracting, and my office will use our resources to ensure that a few instances of corruption are not allowed to erode the public's ability to trust the representatives they elect. I want to acknowledge the good work of the FBI and also thank the company officials who reported this criminal activity, choosing to put law and order over profit."

The two will be sentenced in about 60 days.

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