Suburban St. Louis mayor gets another extortion charge
ST. LOUIS - The mayor of a small St. Louis suburb already charged with extorting money from a towing company is now being accused of doing the same to a convenience store.
Federal prosecutors say Pine Lawn Mayor Sylvester Caldwell took at least $1,000 from the store between July 2013 and June. The grand jury indictment says the store's owner and an employee paid Caldwell out of fear that he would "make trouble" without the payments.
According to the indictment, Caldwell disguised the payments as donations to Pine Lawn. The convenience store was not named.
Last year, Caldwell was charged with extorting at least $1,600 from a towing company in exchange for it servicing the city's police department. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Caldwell has pleaded not guilty to both charges. A message seeking comment was left with Caldwell's attorney.