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: 928028

Reported Deaths: 17618
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles3063277056
Riverside680501319
San Bernardino643671074
Orange597181475
San Diego56369888
Kern34154422
Fresno31321443
Sacramento26018500
Santa Clara24867406
Alameda23775463
San Joaquin21994492
Contra Costa18981246
Stanislaus17872401
Tulare17800292
Ventura14486166
Imperial13038338
San Francisco12320147
Monterey1161695
San Mateo11341161
Santa Barbara9919126
Sonoma9646136
Merced9623155
Kings850283
Solano763476
Marin7121127
Madera509476
Placer435359
San Luis Obispo426532
Yolo326660
Butte314353
Santa Cruz286125
Shasta204631
Napa200916
Sutter189712
San Benito146115
El Dorado13804
Yuba134610
Mendocino115621
Tehama9259
Lassen7721
Lake70417
Glenn6823
Nevada6358
Humboldt57110
Colusa5556
Calaveras34721
Amador33816
Tuolumne2886
Inyo24115
Siskiyou2210
Mono1822
Del Norte1811
Mariposa812
Plumas790
Modoc480
Trinity280
Alpine80
Sierra60
Unassigned00
Chico
Few Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 68°
Oroville
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 69°
Paradise
Few Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 68°
Chester
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 57°
Red Bluff
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 74°
Willows
Few Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 68°
We're closing out the month of October on a beautiful note weather-wise over northern California with plenty of sunshine and above-average temperatures. Halloween will bring slightly warmer temperatures and more sunshine.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events