Business consultant pleads guilty in Reading corruption case

Federal prosecutors seeking 18-month jail sentence

PHILADELPHIA - One of the people indicted as part of a federal corruption investigation centered around Reading City Hall has admitted to his role in the case.

Business consultant James Hickey pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of honest services mail fraud.

Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer tried to get inside information for Hickey from former Reading School Board President Rebecca Acosta in exchange for a contribution to Acosta's campaign for magisterial district judge, according to prosecutors.

Both Spencer and Acosta are awaiting trial in the case.

Hickey also pleaded guilty to one count of honest services wire fraud in an investigation of Allentown City Hall.

Hickey has not yet been sentenced. Prosecutors are seeking 18 months behind bars.

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