SEVERE WX : Fire Weather Watch View Alerts

Prosecutor: Pennsylvania mayor 'sold his office' to donors

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - The mayor of Pennsylvania's third-largest city "sold his office" to campaign donors, trading city contracts for cash to fuel his political ambitions, a prosecutor told jurors Monday in the mayor's federal corruption trial.

Posted: Jan 22, 2018 10:54 AM

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - The mayor of Pennsylvania's third-largest city "sold his office" to campaign donors, trading city contracts for cash to fuel his political ambitions, a prosecutor told jurors Monday in the mayor's federal corruption trial.

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski rigged a series of contracts to go to law firms and businesses that supported his campaigns for governor and U.S. Senate, retaliated against vendors that refused to play along or didn't give sufficiently and tried to hide his tracks, Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Wzorek said in his opening statement.

"If you wanted a contract in the city of Allentown under Mayor Pawlowski, you had to pay," he said. "The fix was in."

Pawlowski, 51, who began a fourth term this month, faces an indictment that includes dozens of accusations of fraud, bribery, attempted extortion and lying to the FBI. The most serious charges carry a maximum prison term of 20 years each.

The mayor's attorney, Jack McMahon, denied an illegal quid pro quo, or explicit connection between city work and campaign contributions. In his opening statement, he called the mayor a "moral person" and accused prosecutors of relying on "conniving, morally bankrupt" witnesses to build their case.

Pawlowski's political consultants, Mike Fleck and Sam Ruchlewicz, cooperated with the government and secretly recorded conversations with the mayor.

"We welcome these tapes, we embrace these tapes," McMahon said. "We have nothing to hide."

He pointed out that Fleck, who has pleaded guilty, is heard on tape saying Pawlowski had done thing wrong, and that he was going to "try to set him up."

But Wzorek said the evidence shows Pawlowski rigged millions of dollars in contracts for legal, engineering, technology and construction work.

Worried about getting caught, the mayor twice had his office swept for listening devices, told city workers to use their personal email accounts to conduct business and talked about getting disposable "burner" phones, he said.

A co-defendant, lawyer Scott Allinson, is charged with bribing Pawlowski for legal work for his firm. He has pleaded not guilty.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 324543

Reported Deaths: 7051
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1335493809
Riverside24765537
Orange24715423
San Diego19371422
San Bernardino19043306
Fresno828288
Imperial7827135
Alameda7731148
Kern650297
Santa Clara6298166
San Joaquin627968
Tulare5678152
Sacramento548983
Stanislaus473251
Contra Costa466190
San Francisco452250
Ventura424653
San Mateo3949112
Santa Barbara393131
Marin343430
Kings291839
Monterey268218
Solano207528
Merced188412
Sonoma170316
Placer107711
San Luis Obispo9054
Madera8938
Yolo88428
Santa Cruz5693
Napa4774
Sutter3884
San Benito3622
Butte3384
Lassen3370
El Dorado3070
Shasta1956
Yuba1923
Humboldt1654
Glenn1640
Nevada1631
Colusa1130
Mendocino1130
Lake1081
Tehama1071
Tuolumne730
Calaveras670
Del Norte600
Mono511
Siskiyou410
Amador400
Inyo351
Mariposa311
Plumas170
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 99° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 84°
Oroville
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 99° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 84°
Paradise
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 84°
Chester
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 69°
Red Bluff
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 102° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 83°
Willows
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 103° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 84°
A seasonably hot beginning to the workweek for northern California, and hotter weather is in the short term forecast, with very little relief in the long term.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events