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New Orleans police officer acquitted

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NEW ORLEANS (KNOE 8 News/AP) - A New Orleans jury has acquitted a New Orleans police officer of charges that he accepted between $600 and $800 in exchange for sending municipal business toward a tow truck company.

On Wednesday, jurors found the veteran officer of about 38 years, John Ray, not guilty of one count of malfeasance.

Ray's lawyer argued that the money his client received was a gift, meriting administrative discipline for a lapse in ethics but not a felony conviction.

Prosecutors tried to convince a jury that Ray broke a law that requires officers to uphold the state Code of Governmental Ethics, which prohibits them from taking anything of economic value from members of the public, or gratuities from anyone they regulate.

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