A Los Angeles County grand jury has indicted the former city manager of Vernon for conflict of interest and misusing public money.
Donal O'Callaghan was charged Monday with three felonies and could face more than 4½ years in state prison if convicted.
Prosecutors claim he was illegally involved in allowing his wife to work for the city. Prosecutor Max Huntsman says she was paid more than $140,000.
O'Callaghan pleaded not guilty Tuesday. He resigned his position last week.
His attorney, Mark J. Werksman, says O'Callaghan was forced out of his job even though the City Council approved the contracts.
Meanwhile, the state attorney general's office in investigating Vernon's finances amid reports that some officials were paid more than $1 million a year. O'Callaghan earned $380,000 a year.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.