Lake Station mayor pleads not guilty to charges

(WISH Photo, file)
(WISH Photo, file)

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — A northwestern Indiana mayor, his wife and stepdaughter have pleaded not guilty to federal corruption charges.

Lake Station Mayor Keith Soderquist and the others entered the pleas during a federal court hearing Thursday in Hammond, a day after prosecutors announced the grand jury indictment against them.

Defense attorney Scott King says the Soderquists have been cooperating with federal agents for more than a year and that they disagree with investigators’ interpretation of events.

The indictment charges the couple made withdrawals totaling at least $18,500 from the mayor’s campaign account before casino trips. Another charge is that they took $300 from a city food pantry bank account.

The couple also is charged with helping the mayor’s stepdaughter hide the theft of at least $5,000 from the city just east of Gary.

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