Lehigh Valley

Over 50 potential witnesses to testify against Pawlowski

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The government says it's expecting the trial involving Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski to last around six weeks at the city's federal courthouse this coming January.

More than 50 potential witnesses are listed in the government's draft.

Some of those potential witnesses include people who previously pleaded guilty and implicated the mayor, including the mayor's former best friend and political consultant Michael Fleck, and Fleck's former employee, also a cooperator,  who did not plead guilty, Sam Ruchlewicz.

The government also plans to call a number of people who worked under Pawlowski, including department heads he still works with and company bigwigs. 

If you've been following the case, you know the government's falling back on recordings to prosecute Mayor Ed Pawlowski in his alleged pay-to-play scheme. Feds spent years gathering covert recordings and the jury will hear about 100 of them, with more than half including the mayor's voice.

The government says charges against Pawlowski follow the contracting process in the City of Allentown and Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski's desire for higher office. 

They say Pawlowski determined he needed about $1 million to prove to the Democratic Party that he was a viable candidate for U.S. Senate, when he decided to run in Apr. 2015. To raise that money he needed in two months, the government states he 'steered contracts to companies that had contributed to him in the past, solicited and sometimes threatened entities who were seeking business within the City of Allentown but hadn't contributed enough money to him in the past, and promised contracts to others who agreed to contribute to him in the future.'

During the trial, witnesses will also hear Pawlowski's statement to the FBI on July 2, 2015: The day of the City Hall raid. 

In addition, the judge ruled Pawlowski's co-defendants Scott Allinson and James Hickey will not be able to break away from this trial. They'll be tried together despite their pleas that being associated with Pawlowski could hurt them in front of a jury, since he has the most charges. 

The mayor's maintained his innocence. 

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