WASHINGTON (AP) — Former District of Columbia Councilmember Michael Brown has been charged with bribery and has told associates that he plans to plead guilty.

Prosecutors on Friday accused Brown of accepting $55,000 from undercover FBI agents posing as businessmen seeking preferred treatment from the government.

The charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.

Brown was charged via criminal information, a document that can only be filed with a defendant’s intent and that generally signals that a plea agreement has been reached.

Robert Brannum, a friend, said Brown told associates in phone conversations Thursday night that he planned to plead guilty.

Brown, the son of the late former Commerce secretary Ron Brown, abruptly dropped out of a special election in April citing personal matters that he said required urgent attention.

Eric Tucker

Associated Press