Soderquist Successor To Be Chosen Soon
By: Lakeshore Public Media Staff
September 14, 2015
LAKE STATION — By this time next month — a group of Democratic Party precinct committee-members in Lake Station will choose someone to be Mayor until the end of the year. That person could be Chris Anderson, the city judge who defeated Mayor Keith Soderquist in the May primary election. Anderson faces Republican Edward Peralta in the upcoming election.
Until a new mayor is appointed, City Council President Pro Tem — and assistant police chief — John McDaniel will oversee the city administration.
A federal court jury convicted Soderquist and his wife Deborah of several felony charges related to their use of campaign and city food pantry funds to pay off gambling debts. The couple’s attorney — Scott King — says he will seek a new trial for the Soderquists.
Council at-large member Todd Lara says the Soderquist administration had some big accomplishments, including securing millions in federal funding, cleaning up the lakefront and creating about 20 jobs in municipal water and garbage collection. But the federal charges against the Mayor and his wife are again reminiscent of the public corruption problems that have historically plagued northwest Indiana municipal governments. Councilman Lara hopes the conviction won’t shape how people see Lake Station. He says everyone he’s met is hard-working and cares about their community.
One resident said he suspected the worst as the federal court trial came to a conclusion. He said that Soderquist had a gambling problem that, like one with alcohol or drugs, can get away from you. Even Soderquist admitted on the witness stand that he had a problem, although he stopped short of calling it an addiction.