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'The witness is not entitled to filibuster' and other tidbits heard in pay-to-play trial

A federal jury convicted Mayor Pawlowski Thursday

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Week six of the Allentown federal corruption trial brought more testimony from Mayor Ed Pawlowski, closing arguments from the prosecution and defense and a resounding guilty verdict for the four-term mayor.

Following roughly 14 hours of deliberation that began Wednesday afternoon, the jury found Pawlowski guilty on 47 of 54 counts. His attorney declined to comment outside the federal courthouse Thursday night on whether the mayor planned on resigning his office.

A jury convicted co-defendant Scott Allinson on single counts of bribery and conspiracy for his role in the pay-to-play scheme. About two hours after the jury returned its verdict, Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, the firm where Allinson worked as an attorney, issued a statement that it "severed" its relationship with Allinson.

The scene was a bit chaotic as the jury read its verdict. The mayor's wife staggered out of the courtroom, collapsing in the hallway. As jurors filed out of the courtroom for the night, the mayor leaned heavily on the defendant's table and his mother would eventually leave the gallery to hug her son and he slumped in a chair.

Allinson, meanwhile, quickly left the courtroom and the courthouse with one of his attorney's declining comment. Sentencing dates have not been set.

“Mr. Wzorek and I represent the people, and the people of the United States of America are entitled to a government free of corruption.”
Asst. U.S. Attorney Michelle Morgan opening the prosecution’s closing arguments

“That was an outright lie.”
Asst. U.S. Attorney Anthony Wzorek
“I wasn’t correctly telling the truth.”
Mayor Ed Pawlowski
“What? You weren’t correctly telling the truth? That’s an outright lie. Correct?”
Wzorek regarding Pawlowski lying to FBI agents about whether he ever swept his city hall office for listening devices

“That’s the only chance you’re going to get to see him folks.”
Pawlowski defense attorney Jack McMahon referring to a photo of former campaign manager Michael Fleck on a video screen during closing arguments; Fleck was not called to testify

“Welcome to the Show”
Pictures shown to the jury of Fleck and campaign aide Sam Ruchlewicz in front of a theater curtain; the defense has argued that the ‘Sam and Mike Show’ was responsible for the alleged bribes

“Do you know what you didn’t see? The credits at the end. And do you know what they said? Produced and directed by Edwin Pawlowski.”
Morgan in rebuttal to the 'Mike and Sam Show'

“If they made $10, they probably weren’t potential givers. If they made $100 million last year, they were probably potential givers.”
Mayor Pawlowski on why he asked companies that did work for the city for campaign donations

“Sam the 25-year-old was pushing you, the four-time mayor, he was telling you what to do.”
Wzorek questioning Mayor Pawlowski on the mayor’s assertion that his campaign staff was pushing him to use high-pressure tactics in seeking donations

“The witness is not entitled to filibuster the question.”
U.S. District Court Judge Juan R. Sanchez to Mayor Pawlowski

“What were you deleting? Sam saying, ‘Hey, let’s go to Disney World tomorrow’ or ‘You owe me $50?’ You weren’t concerned about going to jail over vacation plans or whether you owed someone money.”
Wzorek asking Mayor Pawlowski about comments he made on secret recordings about ‘purging’ files and emails

“He was always calling me at inappropriate times, when I was getting into the shower, when I was getting ready to eat. He was worse than my mother.”
Mayor Pawlowski on the frequency of phone calls from Fleck, his friend and campaign manager

“If you have something, I’d be happy to listen to it.”
Mayor Pawlowski
“I’ll be more than happy to play it for you.”
Wzorek as he prepared to play a secret recording of the mayor discussing the appointment of the Allentown Parking Authority solicitor

“And by the way Mr. Wzorek …”
Mayor Pawlowski
“There is no, ‘By the way.’ It was a question posed.”
Wzorek as he cut off the mayor

“But you could handle Ramzi Haddad’s issue?”
Wzorek in response to Mayor Pawlowski’s comment that he couldn’t handle the issues of every person in a city of 120,000 people

“Do you understand the concept of conspiracy, Mr. Pawlowski?”
Wzorek to Mayor Pawlowski in response to the mayor’s comment that his campaign staff, not him, asked potential city vendors for Philadelphia Eagles playoff tickets

“Ramzi is just Ramzi. We all saw him in this courtroom.”
Mayor Pawlowski on real estate developer and donor Ramzi Haddad

“And at no time did I connect the two.”
Mayor Pawlowski during cross-examination
“There is no question, sir.”
Wzorek
“Okay, sorry.”
Mayor Pawlowski

“’I have 35 in my pocket’ and Sherman Street, separated by about 20 words? I don’t see any Chinese wall there, do you?”
Wzorek to Mayor Pawlowski regarding a meeting with Ramzi Haddad in which they discussed city business and donations; ‘Chinese Wall’ refers to another donor’s reference to separating business and campaign talk in the same discussion

“This is not an oligarchy, there is no king. We left the king behind 250 years ago.”
Morgan during the prosecution’s closing arguments

“He probably thinks he’s Teflon at this point.”
Morgan during closing arguments referencing the fact the mayor was re-elected while under indictment

“Some of the people who testified still work for the city and testified against their boss.”
Morgan during closing arguments on why some witnesses may have sounded hesitant or hedged their testimony

“I submit to you he sat there and lied to you hour after hour, day after day. He lied so much he doesn’t know when he’s lying anymore.”
Morgan during closing arguments regarding Mayor Pawlowski

“He believes that if he talks long enough he can talk his way out of anything. He tried to do it for three hours with the FBI, and now he’s trying to do it with you.”
Morgan to the jury regarding Mayor Pawlowski

“I’m not going to play any tapes, you might be relieved to know.”
Morgan to the jury during closing arguments as she prepared to review alleged bribery schemes

“A term that connotes quid pro quo, sex for money, this for that.”
Morgan on the mayor calling attorneys and potential donors ‘whores’

“He wasn’t asking friends from his high school yearbook, his buddies from college.”
Morgan on the mayor’s use of city vendor lists when targeting those who might be friendly and donate to his campaign

“People don’t commit criminal conspiracy with upstanding legal citizens. They commit criminal conspiracy with like-minded people.”
Morgan on the defense’s efforts to paint the mayor’s former campaign staff as ‘greedy reprobates’ at the heart of the bribery scandal

“Does anything mystical come down from the ceiling that makes you smarter than the average bear? No, you’re wearing a yellow badge that makes you a juror.”
Defense attorney McMahon during closing arguments on the weighty task facing the jury

“This is not some highfalutin, privileged man.”
McMahon on Mayor Pawlowski, who was not ‘a rich guy who bought his way into public office’

“If you are so naïve to think a politician would not go to people have experienced success in the city then you truly are naïve. You truly have your head in the sand. There’s nothing illegal about that.”
McMahon on the mayor approaching companies that have done work in the city for campaign donations

“If the theory is Sam and Mike are the henchmen, then where is the henchmen being told what to do by the head guy?”
McMahon asking jurors why the FBI had not produced a recording in which the mayor explicitly directs his staff to bribe donors

“Smoking guns? Smoking guns of innocence.”
McMahon telling the jury that the FBI failed to provide the smoking gun implicating his client; instead they have tapes he maintains exonerates the mayor

“That’s what con men do. They con people. They fool people.”
McMahon on Mayor Pawlowski’s to surround himself with people like Fleck and Ruchlewicz

“I can’t believe how manipulative that is. I’m offended.”
McMahon accusing the prosecution of editing recordings to make his client look guilty

“He lives his la Vida loca life.”
McMahon on the fact that Ruchlewicz, a prosecution witness, did not face criminal charges

“Ms. Morgan would have you believe that (Ruchlewicz) thought he might get charged later. If you believe that then you believe I have a full head of hair.”
A folliclely-challenged McMahon on the prosecution’s assertion that Ruchlewicz testified that he believed he was still in danger of being charged for his role in pay-to-play

“He’s a religious man, not the only-go-to-church-on-Sunday kind of guy.”
McMahon describing his client during closing arguments

“Are you going to believe them or your lyin’ ears?”
McMahon during closing arguments in asking the jury to consider recordings that he maintains proves the mayor’s innocence

“Don’t confuse apples and oranges. Anger is not a crime.”
McMahon working to counter the prosecution’s playing of recordings in which an angry mayor complains about a lack of campaign donations

“I have a few closing marks that will be mercifully shorter than yesterday.”
Morgan on her rebuttal after more than 2 hours of closing arguments the day before


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