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Donors Abandon Ald. Cochran As Money Dries Up To Fight Federal Charges

By Sam Cholke | July 24, 2017 5:27am | Updated on July 28, 2017 11:20am
 Ald. Willie Cochran's campaign fund is now almost empty after paying to fight federal charges of extortion and bribery.
Ald. Willie Cochran's campaign fund is now almost empty after paying to fight federal charges of extortion and bribery.
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DNAinfo/Kelly Bauer

WOODLAWN — Ald. Willie Cochran (20th) soon will face some difficult decisions as his political campaign fund dries up from the cost of fighting federal charges of wire fraud, bribery and extortion.

To take a plea deal or not? Go with a public defender?

State campaign finance disclosures show Cochran started July with $4,630 in his campaign fund after spending $10,500 on legal fees between April 1 and June 30.

Cochran soon may be reliant on his own finances to fight allegations that he shook down local business owners for $30,000 and spent $25,000 of his campaign funds on an alleged gambling habit.

His campaign brought in only one donation, $2,500 from Ike's Foods, since he was indicted in December.

Cochran on Friday declined to say whether he had an independent legal defense fund he could draw on as his case approaches the labor-intensive discovery phase.

He said he is not considering stepping down.

“No, I’m not considering it at all,” Cochran said.

He said he is feeling increasingly optimistic about the case, but declined to elaborate.

Cochran has called the allegations against him a "lie."