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October 05, 2015

FBI names more businesses in Allentown corruption investigation

Law enforcement will search emails of eight more businesses and people

Investigations Corruption
Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski. Ed Pawlowski /Facebook

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski.

The FBI expanded its investigation of corruption in Allentown, Lehigh County, by naming eight more people and businesses whose emails it plans to collect.

As the Morning Call reported, the list includes prominent development companies and Tony Iannelli, the president of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.

City employees have been directed to save all documents and communications involving the list of eight. However, no one on the list has been charged with a crime.

The people and businesses on the list are:

•BSI Corporate Benefits and an executive there name Anthony D'Are

•Blackford Development and its CEO, Richard Welkowitz. Blackford is one of the largest real-estate developers in central Pennsylvania.

•Parkway Corporation and an executive there, Joseph Zuritsky

•Jeff Trainer, a developer and co-owner of the Sands Bethlehem Event Center

The FBI began investigating claims that Allentown officials may have given city contracts in exchange for campaign donations two years ago.

Last month, developer Ramzi Haddad pleaded guilty to conspiracy to bribe Mayor Ed Pawlowski, who was running for Senate. Pawlowski has since suspended his bid, but he has not been charged with any crimes.

Executives at Parkway Corporation, a parking garage company, donated $13,000 to the Senate campaign, including $5,000 from Zuritsky. D'Are also donated to the Senate campaign, giving $5,400.

Read the full story here.