CHICAGO — An employee of the Cook County Assessor’s Office pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a charge that he conspired to accept bribes in exchange for lowering the assessed values of some properties, leading to small tax bills for the owners.

Lavdim Memisovski, 43, was charged last week with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery. His attorney, Christopher Gair, entered a not guilty plea on Memisovski’s behalf during his arraignment hearing Tuesday morning.

Memisovski said little during the hearing except to tell U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheila Finnegan that he understood the charges against him. A status hearing in the case was scheduled for Aug. 12.

Federal prosecutors allege that between 2016 and 2018, Memisovski “did conspire with Individual A, Individual B, and other persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury, to corruptly accept and agree to accept from another person things of value, namely, home improvement materials, home improvement services, jewelry, meals, sporting events tickets, and other items” in exchange for “the reduction in the assessed values of properties located in Cook County.”

A representative for Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi’s office told the Chicago Sun-Times: “Though this person remained an employee of the office, the events mentioned in the charging document occurred during the prior administration and do not reference any activity during this administration.”