PHILADELPHIA — The mayor of Allentown and the former mayor of Reading have been charged with corruption for a series of pay-to-play schemes officials likened to putting for-sale signs on their offices while promising political favors to deep-pocketed donors.
Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski and former Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer have been charged with multiple counts of bribery and fraud, according to indictments that detail how the two Democrats handed lucrative city contracts to donors who showered them with cash and gifts.
“Pawlowski and Spencer essentially put a for-sale sign up in front of city hall in Reading and in Allentown to sell their office and their services to the highest bidder,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Louis Lappen.
Prosecutors allege Pawlowski attempted to steer contracts for jobs such as streetlight upgrades, a cyber security deal and other legal work toward those who gave him money from 2012 to 2015. In total, he accepted more than $150,000 in campaign contributions in exchange for the use of his office, prosecutors said.
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