Lehigh Valley

Prosecutors oppose request for separate trial in Allentown corruption case

PHILADELPHIA - Prosecutors responded to a motion for a separate trial in the Allentown corruption case.

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, former Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer, attorney Scott Allinson, business consultant James Hickey, and former Reading City Council president's wife Rebecca Acosta were indicted in July in connection to alleged pay-to-play schemes in Allentown and Reading.

Prosecutors allege Pawlowski doled out city contracts to those willing to provide him with campaign contributions and fundraise on his behalf.

Investigators say Allinson agreed to exchange legal work at his firm for campaign contributions to Pawlowski.

Allinson requested a separate trial, arguing a joint trial is unfair because he is only charged in two of the fraud and bribery counts.

Prosecutors responded to the request, saying Allinson did not provide enough evidence to support that claim, and that the jury should have no trouble separating the defendants in this case.

The motion also said even if a separate trial was granted, prosecutors could present most, if not all, of the same evidence that would be presented in a joint trial.

A hearing on the pre-trial motions is scheduled for November 28.

The FBI investigation began more than two years ago when investigators raided Allentown and Reading city halls. Since then, 11 people have pleaded guilty in the probe.

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.

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