Lehigh Valley

Pawlowski to be in court Thursday afternoon; Allentown mayor faces pay-to-play charges

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski is scheduled to appear in federal court Thursday to answer to a multitude of charges leveled against him by the feds.

He's accused in a pay-to-play scheme in which authorities say he basically put City Hall up for sale to the highest bidder.

Pawlowski is charged with multiple counts of bribery, fraud, and extortion.

Prosecutors say he collected campaign donations and in return steered city contracts for things like street lights, legal work, and cyber security.

They also say he lied to the feds.

"One after the next, we see elected officials embrace a culture of cashing in," said Michael Harpster with the FBI.

Allentown attorney Scott Allinson and business consultant James Hickey are also named in the indictment.

Former Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer and former Reading School Board President Rebecca Acosta are also charged with participating in similar crimes.

Investigators called Spencer the "mastermind" behind the corruption at Reading City Hall.

The U.S. Attorney says Spencer tried to get around the ethics law of how much campaign contributions city officials could collect from contractors.

Spencer is expected in court next week.

Pawlowski released a video statement on the indictments Thursday morning:


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