Indiana food bank suspends contract after charges

Lake Station Mayor Keith Soderquist, left, leaves the Hammond Federal Courthouse, Thursday, April 17, 2014, in Hammond, Ind., with his wife, Deborah, and stepdaughter, Miranda Brakley, after pleading not guilty to federal charges that he and his wife took more than $18,000 from his campaign account at the same time they had big casino gambling losses. (AP Photo/The Times of Northwest Indiana, John Luke)
Lake Station Mayor Keith Soderquist, left, leaves the Hammond Federal Courthouse, Thursday, April 17, 2014, in Hammond, Ind., with his wife, Deborah, and stepdaughter, Miranda Brakley, after pleading not guilty to federal charges that he and his wife took more than $18,000 from his campaign account at the same time they had big casino gambling losses. (AP Photo/The Times of Northwest Indiana, John Luke)

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — A northwestern Indiana food bank has suspended its contract with another food bank following its director’s indictment on federal charges.

An 11-count indictment alleges that Lake Station Mayor Keith Soderquist and his wife, Deborah Soderquist, improperly used money from the city’s food pantry and his re-election campaign at local casinos.

Deborah Soderquist is director of the Greater Hammond-Lake Station food pantry.

The Times of Munster reports that the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana suspended its contract with the Lake Station food pantry following the Soderquists’ indictments.

Defense attorney Scott King says the couple “never touched a penny” of money from the city’s food pantry fund, as the government alleges.

The Soderquists are accused of cashing a $300 check intended for the food pantry before going to a Michigan casino.

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