Lehigh Valley

Allentown mayor, 4 others indicted in FBI probe

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski and four others have been indicted in the Allentown and Reading city halls FBI probe. 

Pawlowski, along with Scott Allinson, James Hickey, former Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer, and Rebecca Acosta have all been indicted in the case, according to court documents that were unsealed Wednesday morning. 

The feds had been looking into allegations of corruption at city hall.

The indictment of Pawlowski follows guilty pleas by nine others charged in a pay-to-play scheme that authorities say involved the exchange of city contracts for campaign contributions

The mayor had been implicated several times, but not charged, until now.

The investigation began more than two years ago and since then nine others have pleaded guilty, many of whom implicated Pawlowski.

The U.S. Attorney will hold a news conference that's expected to shed more light on those findings Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. Later in the day at 4:30 p.m. in the unit block of N. 11th Street, Mayor Ed Pawlowski and Attorney Jack McMahon will hold a news conference as well.

The mayor has not commented on the indictment, and despite city council's urge to resign, he says he will not step down.

In January 2016 council members passed a formal declaration of no confidence in Pawlowski.

He however has maintained his innocence. The FBI first seized files from Allentown City hall in July of 2015.

A week later the FBI did the same at Reading City Hall.

Pawlowski is not alone in this two-year probe.

So far, nine others have pleaded guilty to some role in the play-to-play scheme.

Those involved include various city workers in both Allentown and Reading with crimes ranging from conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud to admitting to taking bribes.

During the investigation, the grand jury subpoena's in Reading and Allentown came out with lists of names and vendors linked to the investigation.

Some of those linked pleaded guilty to bribing the officials.


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