The mayor of Gulfport, Mississippi, an area hit hard by Hurricane Katrina, was charged along with his wife in a 16-count federal indictment related to an allegedly false claim for disaster assistance.

Mayor Brent Warr issued a statement Wednesday saying the charges have nothing to do with his role as mayor and he will continue to run the city.

Warr and his wife, Laura, pleaded not guilty after a brief hearing Wednesday in federal court.

Warr said in the prepared statement that the investigation has been ongoing for a year and he hopes for a quick resolution.

The Warrs are charged with conspiring to defraud the federal government, filing a false claim for disaster assistance and making false statements to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, among other things.