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Chicago alderman plead not guilty in case of corruption

FILE – In this Feb. 10, 2011 file photo, Chicago Alderman Willie Cochran, left, address from the residents of the 20th Ward in Chicago. Cochran, a prominent Chicago alderman indicted on federal corruption, is due for his first appearance. Cochran has been charged in a 15-count indictment, including allegations that he extorted money from a liquor store owner and pilfered funds from a local government, the activities of the fund to pay for the gambling and his daughter’s tuition. His arraignment in federal court Friday, Dec. 24, 2016, in the morning. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

(Associated Press)

CHICAGO – A prominent Chicago alderman, has pleaded not guilty to the federal corruption during the first appearance.

Willie Cochran appeared in federal court in Chicago on Thursday, accompanied by a number of family members. The 64-year-old Democrat stood in a pinstripe suit with a purple tie with his hands folded before him as a lawyer, Thomas durkin entered the plea on his behalf.

The 15-count indictment includes bribery and extortion counts. It claims Cochran extorted money from the owner of the store and pilfered funds from an activities fund to pay for the gambling and his daughter’s tuition.

Durkin later said that there is no evidence Cochran sought to accept money for official acts. He said Cochran used fund money, but also money back.

A status hearing is set for Jan. 11.

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