Pine Lawn

City of Pine Lawn website

The former mayor of Pine Lawn will spend 33 months in federal prison for extorting money from businesses in the tiny North County town.

Sylvester Caldwell pleaded guilty on April 13 to forcing the owners of a towing company and a convenience store to pay at least $2,600 to protect their businesses. He also admitted that he frequently took items from the convenience store without paying. The plea agreement included a recommended sentence between 27 and 33 months. 

Adrian Wright, a former mayor of Pine Lawn, says his political opponent used the city's police department as a tool of political intimidation. Adolphus Pruitt of the NAACP is at left.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri has sued the city of Pine Lawn for using its police department as a tool of political intimidation.

The federal lawsuit filed Tuesday centers around the 2013 race for mayor between Sylvester Caldwell, who was the incumbent, and challenger Nakisha Ford, who was backed by former mayor and councilman Adrian Wright.

City of Pine Lawn website

Updated with a copy of the indictment and additional information.

The mayor of a small North County municipality has been arrested on federal extortion charges.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation took Sylvester Caldwell into custody on Thursday. He'll be arraigned on a single count of interference with commerce by extortion on Monday. 

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

A follow-up report from state auditor Tom Schweich finds that the small North County municipality of Pine Lawn is making progress in solving ongoing management issues.

U.S. Marshals Service

Loughner can be forcibly medicated

A federal judge has ruled that prison officials can forcibly medicate Tucson shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner with anti-psychotic drugs.

U.S. District Judge Larry Burns says he did not want to second guess doctors at a federal prison in Springfield, Mo. Burns issued the decision yesterday after Loughner's attorneys filed an emergency request to prevent any forced medication of their client.

Defense attorneys said Loughner had been forcibly medicated since June 21.