Lake Station mayor pleads not guilty to charges

(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. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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