State Senator Pleads Not Guilty To Embezzlement

State Senator Thomas Cullerton.

State Senator Thomas Cullerton, speaking to lawmakers on the Illinois Senate floor in 2015.

Seth Perlman/AP

State Senator Thomas Cullerton has pleaded not guilty to federal charges alleging he took more than $250,000 in salary and benefits over three years from the Teamsters while doing little or no work.

Cullerton, a Democrat from the Chicago suburb of Villa Park was due to be released on his own recognizance following his arraignment Friday.

A federal grand jury indicted Cullerton on 39 counts of embezzlement from a labor union, one count of conspiracy to embezzle from a labor union and employee benefit plans and one count of making false statements in a health care matter.

Cullerton spokeswoman Lissa Druss issued a statement saying, "He will continue to fight these untrue allegations in court until his name is cleared."

The 49-year-old Cullerton is a cousin of state Senate President John Cullerton.

Story source: AP