Lehigh Valley

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski back on the stand

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski will continue defending himself in his federal corruption trial.

The mayor has said from the start he's been waiting to take the stand and prove his innocence.

Pawlowski took the stand Wednesday, shedding more light on his side of the story. He's facing 55 counts in the federal indictment on bribery, fraud, and conspiracy.

He's long called the accusations of the pay-to-play scheme unfounded, and he reaffirmed that if there was corruption going on, he had no hand in it.

The mayor's attorney, Jack McMahon, asked Pawlowski about how city bidding worked.

The mayor explained and also added that the requests for proposals rarely made it to his desk.

Instead the defense blamed Mike Fleck. Pawlowski said he had no idea about his former campaign manager's efforts to arrange thousands of dollars in campaign contributions in exchange for city work.

Fleck began working with the FBI in 2015. The mayor said he had no knowledge that Fleck was wearing a wire while Pawlowski was paying him $10,000 a month to run his U.S. Senate Campaign.

The defense also turned to Sam Ruchlewicz, an aid to his campaign. Pawlowski testified about a meeting in June of 2015 when a developer, Ramzi Haddad, said Ruchlewicz promised him zoning changes and a city contract through a text message.

McMahon likely has more questions for Pawlowski Wednesday, but many are waiting for the federal government and their cross examination.

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