Venice mayor back at work after corruption probe

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MILAN (AP) — Venice's mayor is back at work a week after being arrested in a wide-ranging corruption probe related to construction of underwater barriers to protect the lagoon city from flooding.

Mayor Giorgio Orsoni has denied any wrongdoing and has told reporters that he was unaware that any donations to his campaign were illegal. He was released from house arrest Thursday amid reports of a plea bargain agreement.

Orsoni was of more than 30 people arrested in a sweeping investigation alleging that the consortium building the underwater barriers amassed a 25-million-euro ($34 million) slush fund abroad to bribe officials and politicians.

The mayor is accused of illegal campaign funding.

A series of corruption scandals have increased pressure on Italy's premier tackle endemic corruption. The government is expected to enact new measures Friday.

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