CENTRAL ISLIP - A political power broker in Suffolk County pleaded not guilty to charges he billed the county for hours he did not work.

The charges against Suffolk County Conservative Party Chairman Ed Walsh stemmed from a sheriff's department investigation that looked into whether or not Walsh had falsified his time sheets while working there as a lieutenant.

Attorneys for Walsh claim the charges against him are politically motivated. They also said they will be able to prove through records and witness testimony that Walsh was only paid for hours he worked.

Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco served as Walsh's boss in the sheriff's department, but Walsh leads the very same Conservative Party to which DeMarco belongs. Walsh's attorneys insinuated a personal falling out between the two led to the allegations.

Walsh denied to comment on the case. Sheriff DeMarco denied to comment on the allegations made by Walsh's lawyers.

Walsh is free on bail. He's due back in Central Islip court on April 2.