A former Louisiana wildlife official has pleaded not guilty to charges he took payoffs for his role in trying to keep a New Orleans landfill closed.

Former state Wildlife and Fisheries Commissioner Henry Mouton is free on $100,000 bond following his arraignment Thursday before a federal magistrate in New Orleans.

The eight counts against him carry a maximum of 55 years in prison.

An indictment last month accused Mouton of hiding his financial motives when he lobbied members of Congress for their help in keeping the Old Gentilly Landfill closed. Mouton also is accused of trying to persuade federal authorities to investigate the landfill.

The indictment doesn't name the landfill owner whose companies allegedly paid Mouton more than $463,000, but the document says Mouton had touted River Birch Landfill.