Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski Indicted Amid Federal Probe

Jack McMahon, the attorney for Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, confirmed with NBC10 that five sealed indictments, one of which is against his client, will be released Wednesday morning.

Ed Pawlowski, the mayor of Allentown, has been indicted amid a long-running federal probe into alleged pay-to-play scheme, according to his attorney.

The Democratic mayor's attorney Jack McMahon told NBC10 Tuesday that five sealed indictments, one of which is against his client, will be released Wednesday.

The U.S. Attorney plans to release more information on the case at a 1:30 p.m. news conference.

"Nothing to comment on at this point," Pawlowski said when he was questioned about the indictment. "Not even sure what the indictment is, will comment tomorrow."

Pawlowski also said he has no plans of stepping down or dropping out of his campaign for a fourth term as mayor of Pennsylvania's third-largest city.

"No I will not be stepping down or dropping out of the campaign," he said. "You can speak to my attorney if you have any further questions."

An investigation was launched in 2013 of an alleged scheme to obtain city contracts in exchange for campaign contributions to an unnamed official whose description matches Mayor Pawlowski’s.

Nine people have pleaded guilty since the investigation began. FBI agents raided Pawlowski's Allentown office two years ago. Pawlowski was not charged, however, and has denied wrongdoing.

Earlier this month, Allentown council members called on federal prosecutors and the FBI to make a decision on indicting or exonerating Pawlowski, claiming the protracted investigation was affecting the mayor’s ability to govern, calling it a "disservice to the citizens of Allentown."

"We want this thing over with," State Rep. Mike Schlossberg (D-Allentown) said. "And we want our city government back."

Schlossberg says Allentown can't function with a mayor facing charges.

"This is ridiculous," he said. "This has to end. Because you cannot continue to govern a city not only under investigation but under federal indictment."

Despite the allegations, Pawlowski remains popular after winning a Primary election. Pawlowski's supporters gathered at his headquarters in Allentown Tuesday night.

"You have the presumption of being innocent until proven guilty," said Walter Felton, the Lehigh County Democratic Party Chair.

His supporters also credit Pawlowski with revitalizing Allentown.

"He comes to our houses, to our barbecues, to our birthdays," Jessica Ortiz, a Pawlowski campaign staffer, said. "He's our mayor. For all of us."

There are others who want Pawlowski to step down however.

"I'm glad to see this day has finally come," said Bernie O'Hare, a critic of Pawlowski's. "It's been very damaging for Allentown."

Pawlowski has been the Mayor of Allentown since January of 2006. In 2015, he announced he would run for the U.S. Senate though he later suspended his campaign. He was also a candidate for Pennsylvania governor in 2014 but ultimately dropped out of the race.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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