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August 09, 2016

FBI agents ask questions, review contracts at Reading City Hall at mayor's request

FBI agents were back Reading City Hall on Tuesday, questioning employees and reviewing a contract the city has with a Chester County towing company.

The towing company is Stacey Towing in Honey Brook, and according to the Reading Eagle, the business' owner claims the Reading Parking Authority owes him $1.8 million for the storage of 81 cars he had hauled away at the parking authority's request.

Reading Mayor Wally Scott, who called the federal agents to City Hall to investigate,  on Tuesday asserted that no Reading official had ever signed the contract with Stacey Towing. During a press conference, Scott said.

“Who gives a towing contract to a company in another county? ... We looked at the contract and saw some irregularities and then we saw that it was unsigned.”

In the other matter, the FBI questioned city employees who had worked at City Hall during the administration of former Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer.

During the same press conference, Scott said the focus of agents questions was about the ongoing renovations at the city's wastewater treatment plant.

Cost overruns have caused that project to go more than $35 million over budget, the Reading Eagle reported.

Last summer the FBI raided Reading City Hall and former Mayor Spencer's home, looking for construction related contracts and documents.

Reading's former City Council President Francis Acosta has since been charged and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery. He was sentenced to two years in prisonAnd Eron Lloyd, Spencer's top aid pleaded guilty to bribery and helping shake down city contractors city for campaign donations.

Spencer, who lost to Mayor Scott in the Democratic primary in 2015, has not been charged with any crimes.

Read the Reading Eagle's complete report here.