Pine Lawn mayor pleads not guilty
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The mayor of the St. Louis County town of Pine Lawn has pleaded not guilty to federal extortion charges.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 54-year-old Sylvester Caldwell entered the plea Monday. He was arrested Thursday and accused of demanding bribes from a towing company in exchange for city business.
An indictment says Caldwell accepted five payments totaling $1,600 between December 2013 and April, in exchange for ordering the Pine Lawn police force to use the company's services.
Caldwell declined comment after arraignment Monday. His attorney, Travis Noble, said Caldwell is perplexed about the charges.