Channahon Mayor Joseph Cook pleaded not guilty today to failing to file four years of federal income tax returns, but a federal judge set a change of plea hearing for next month.
Cook, who was recently reelected in the far southwest suburban town, refused to comment as he left the courtroom at the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse. He was represented by a federal defender.
But after hearing from both a federal prosecutor and Cook's defender, U.S. Magistrate Judge Morton Denlow set a change of plea hearing for Oct. 25, an indication that Cook will change his plea.
Cook, 45, allegedly failed to report more than $250,000 of income from 2005 to 2008, including earnings as mayor and liquor commissioner of about $16,000 a year, according to charges filed last week. He is charged with six misdemeanor counts and is not being held in custody.