FBI Probe

'We're not joking around here, Ed' and other tidbits heard in pay-to-play trial

Mayor Ed Pawlowski's defense resumes Tuesday

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The fifth week of the Allentown federal bribery and corruption trial is set to resume 9 a.m. Tuesday. The prosecution has rested after more than three weeks of presenting its case, and the defense for co-defendant Scott Allinson rested after just over a day of testimony.

Jack McMahon, Mayor Ed Pawlowski's attorney, will resume his defense. The mayor may take the stand on Tuesday.

Below are comments heard in secret recordings played during the trial and during testimony during last week's proceedings.

“Who is prejudiced by more information? Who is prejudiced by the truth? Not me.”
Defense attorney Jack McMahon trying to convince U.S. District Court Judge Juan R. Sanchez why he should be allowed to cross-examine a prosecution witness for the second time

“He’s just looking for another bite at the apple that he’s already chewed on for 11 hours.”
Asst. U.S. Atty. Michelle Morgan on McMahon’s request to re-examine that witness

“More truth and more evidence gets justice.”
Attorney McMahon still arguing his point
“Are you done?”
Judge Sanchez
“I guess I am.”
Attorney McMahon

“I even said, ‘Who are you? Why are you here?’”
Attorney Richard Somach testifying about the night Sam Ruchlewicz walked into his law firm’s suite at the PPL Center

“There was a joke that if you took a knife and sliced off everything above the first floor in Allentown, the only thing you’d displace would be the pigeons. It was a dead town.”
Attorney Richard Somach testifying for the defense on the work Ed Pawlowski had done in Allentown and why he donated to the mayor’s U.S. Senate campaign

“One more question.”
Attorney McMahon
“Is that really your last question?”
Judge Sanchez
“Yes, trust me your honor … actually, it’s a two-part question.”
Attorney McMahon
“I knew it.”
Judge Sanchez

“Are you a bureaucrat? In the best way that term is understood.”
Asst. U.S. Attorney Anthony Wzorek questioning former Allentown city Solicitor Jerry Snyder

“It’s argumentative your honor, and it’s his own witness.”
Attorney McMahon objecting to a statement from the prosecution while questioning a witness.

“Your honor, may I be seated during the playing of the recording?”
Asst. U.S. Attorney Michelle Morgan before playing the FBI interview of Mayor Pawlowski
“Is that an indication of how long this will be?”
Judge Sanchez
“Unfortunately, yes.”
Morgan before pressing play on the nearly three-hour recording

“I’m not going to tell you that he hasn’t come up with any hair-brained ideas.”
Mayor Pawlowski on Ramzi Haddad during his July 2, 2015, interview with the FBI

“He’s just strange. He will, you know, he’ll sue everybody over everything.”
Mayor Pawlowski on real estate developer Abe Atiyeh during his FBI interview

“But as crazy as he is, he’s a nice guy.”
Mayor Pawlowski’s follow up comment to the FBI about Abe Atiyeh

“There’s nothing we’ve ever done that would make us go to jail.”
Mayor Pawlowski in response to the FBI’s question of whether he ever said he thought he was going to jail

“This has never happened to me before. I don’t know if I need a lawyer. I don’t know what my rights are.”
Mayor Pawlowski during July 2015 interview the FBI

“I think there is more going on here than meets the eye, and I think you know there’s more going on here than meets the eye.”
FBI Special Agent Carmen DiMario to Mayor Pawlowski during the July 2015 interview

“What type of knowledge do you think I have?”
Mayor Pawlowski during his July 2015 interview with the FBI
“We think you know about contributions going to certain people in exchange for contracts.”
Special Agent DiMario

“I think you’re not telling us things you know. And I have to tell you, that could hurt you.”
Special Agent DiMario during July 2015 interview with Mayor Pawlowski

“Let’s just cut the bull here and be honest. We didn’t just start this investigation two days ago.”
FBI Special Agent Scott Curtis to Mayor Pawlowski during July 2015 interview with Mayor Pawlowski

“We’re not joking around here, Ed.”
Special Agent DiMario during July 2015 interview with Mayor Pawlowski

“The next 72-hour news cycle, how it plays out is up to you.”
Special Agent DiMario to Pawlowski during July 2015 interview. Agents just told the mayor that the warrants to search city hall focused on Fran Dougherty, “insulating” the mayor to a degree.

“Whether you think you did it or not, you did it. Whether you think you skirted the line or not, you crossed it by miles.”
Special Agent DiMario to Mayor Pawlowski during July 2015 interview

“Once you walk out of here, it’s a different game.”
Special Agent DiMario asking Mayor Pawlowski to consider cooperating with their investigation

“It was nice to meet you. I wish it was under better circumstances.”
Special Agent DiMario as the mayor left the July 2015 interview with the FBI

“Initially, you were trying to bring him in as a ‘victim’ of these unscrupulous vendors.”
Defense attorney McMahon characterizing the FBI’s initial interview of Mayor Pawlowski with agents in July 2015

“Mr. McMahon, it’s 9:01.”
Judge Sanchez to Attorney McMahon on the judge’s prompt 9 a.m. daily starting time
“I’m sorry your honor, I was in the witness room. I was here.”
Attorney McMahon
“Do you have a watch?”
Judge Sanchez
“I do. It says 9:01.”
Attorney McMahon

“I ask a simple question, and I end up getting the Gettysburg address.”
Attorney McMahon on seeking a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question from Special Agent DiMario and getting a much longer explanation

“You don’t have to give the mayor a dime, and he’ll be happy. I won’t because I gotta run his campaign, you know.”
Michael Fleck heard in a secret 2013 recording talking to what he thought was a potential client, but was an undercover agent

“He’s real low tech though. If the FBI shows up, he could eat that in four minutes.”
Michael Fleck heard in a secret recording, talking about former city Managing Director Fran Dougherty on his propensity to take notes the old-fashioned way – on paper.

“I like orange, but not that orange … do they still make you wear orange.”
Michael Fleck heard in the same secret recording joking about the prospect of going to jail

“Your fingerprints aren’t on anything.”
Michael Fleck heard on a secret recording discussing with Mayor Pawlowski concerns about fundraising efforts and purging records.

“There’s a discussion about getting together and purging their devices.”
Attorney McMahon referring to a secret recording in which Michael Fleck and Mayor Pawlowski talk about ‘purging’ records and emails.
“Deleting evidence? Yes.”
FBI Special Agent Scott Curtis in response

“There wasn’t really pushback. It was more of a comment. ‘That firm’s full of Republicans.’”
Former Allentown city Solicitor Susan Wild on a comment make by Mayor Pawlowski regarding the law firm Fitzpatrick, Lentz and Bubba

“I’m glad you don’t have a PAC because if you did you could only donate $1,000.”
Former Pawlowski campaign manager Mike Fleck heard on a secret recording when talking to attorney Marc Feller about asking for donations from his law firm, Dilworth Paxson

“No one likes going around asking for money. Except me. I don’t mind.”
Fleck on asking for campaign contributions

“So, I have good new and not so good news. Which one do you want first?”
Sam Ruchlewicz heard on a secret recording talking to Joe Biondo about a pool proposal his firm, Spillman Farmer, submitted to Allentown

“A guy named Bob Riems from Nazareth he, um, beat the (expletive) out of you.”
Ruchlewicz delivering the ‘not so good news’ to Biondo after Riems’ reference

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