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October 23, 2018

Former Allentown mayor Ed Pawlowski sentenced to 15 years in federal prison

Pawlowski resigned in March in the wake of corruption charges after holding office for 12 years

Courts Corruption
Ed Pawlowski Seven Points Consulting/Wikimedia Commons

Ed Pawlowski.

Former Allentown mayor Ed Pawlowski was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison Tuesday, three years after his office was raided by FBI agents. Pawlowski was convicted in March on a number of corruption charges, including bribery, fraud, and attempted extortion.

U.S. District Court Judge Juan R. Sanchez also ordered Pawlowski to pay $93,740 in restitution, and he denied Pawlowski bail

Pawlowski, 53, a Democrat, had traded city contracts for campaign money, including his unsuccessful campaigns for Pennsylvania governor and U.S. Senate. He resigned as mayor of Allentown on March 9 after holding the office since 2006. 

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Pawlowski had denied wrongdoing in the case, according to CBS 3His family appeared at the federal courthouse Tuesday and pleaded both for leniency and for his freedom after the sentencing:

Detractors also showed up:

Pawlowski was handcuffed and taken to prison on Tuesday afternoon. He told Sanchez before the sentencing Tuesday that he believed he could make a difference and change the world during his time as a politician, according to the Morning Call.

Current Allentown mayor Ray O'Connell issued this statement:

“The former mayor is credited with some significant accomplishments while chief executive of the city, but a jury found that his actions tied to his political ambition ran afoul of the law.  The sentence imposed by Judge Sanchez today closes another chapter in that tale.  We are trying to put that past us by working hard every day to restore the public’s faith in Allentown city government.”  

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