By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Suspended City Councilman Jose Huizar pleaded not guilty Monday to federal charges alleging he ran a $1.5 million pay-to-play scheme involving local developers.

Huizar, 51, of Boyle Heights, entered his plea in Los Angeles federal court via video conferencing.

According to prosecutors, developers were shaken down for cash bribes and campaign donations in exchange for Huizar’s help in getting high-rise projects pushed through the city’s approval process.

Huizar is expected back in court Wednesday to set a trial date.