ALLENTOWN, Pa. (CBS/AP) — Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski has been found guilty on dozens of counts in his federal corruption trial.
Pawlowski was charged with trading city contracts for campaign contributions and faced dozens of charges including fraud, bribery, attempted extortion and lying to the FBI.
Jurors came down with the verdict on the second day of deliberations. He was found guilty on 47 of 54 counts.
The verdict means the Democrat must leave office. He began a fourth term in January
“Today’s guilty verdicts send the message again to corrupt politicians that they are not above the law,” said United States Attorney Louis Lappen. “The jury has held Mayor Pawlowski accountable for selling his office to the highest bidder to fund his personal ambitions.”
Lappen said Pawlowski tried to cover up his crimes.
“Thinking only of himself, he deprived Allentown residents of their right to receive honest and faithful services from their municipal government. The mayor then tried to cover up his crimes by destroying evidence, lying to the FBI agents who were investigating him, and lying to the federal jurors who heard his case. Our prosecutors and law enforcement partners worked extremely hard to investigate this case, which also resulted in 10 guilty pleas. We hope that those in public office receive the clear message that justice system will not tolerate these abuses of the public trust,” said Lappen.
Prosecutors say the Democrat strong-armed city vendors to contribute to his failed campaigns for governor and U.S. Senate. The mayor’s political consultants cooperated with the government and recorded hundreds of conversations with him, many of which were played for the jury during the trial. Several city workers and vendors who pleaded guilty testified.
Pawlowski took the stand in his own defense and denied orchestrating a pay-to-play scheme.
Defense attorney Jack McMahon says his client is “100 percent innocent.”
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)