Supervisor Thomas makes initial appearance in court

MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee County Supervisor accused of bribery makes his initial appearance in court Wednesday.

43-year-old Johnny Thomas came to court with his wife beside him. Thomas is officially charged with "public official accept bribe" and "misconduct in public office." He's accused of taking $500 from what he thought was a Chicago firm seeking a contract -- as a financial adviser for the county. Thomas was nabbed however, because it was part of a sting operation.

Thomas' attorney says he will fight the charges. "Mr. Supervisor Thomas contests this charge and takes the accusation very seriously... it's also entirely inconsistent with his career as a public official," said attorney Craig Mastantuono.

Thomas has already been stripped of his county board committee assignments. That includes his chairmanship over the Finance and Audit Committee.

Thomas will remain free on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond.

If Thomas is convicted of accepting a bribe, he faces up to six years in prison and $10,000 in fines. The misconduct in office charge carries a maximum three-and-a-half years in prison and $10,000 fine.

Thomas' next court appearance is slated for March.