- Associated Press - Thursday, August 27, 2015

READING, Pa. (AP) - A financially strapped Pennsylvania city is on the hook for nearly $900,000 in legal bills to defend its mayor against charter and ethics complaints.

Thursday’s Reading Eagle reports (http://bit.ly/1JzPuXY ) the Duane Morris law firm has billed Reading’s city government $719,000 for Vaughn Spencer’s three charter cases and $178,725 for the ethics case.

Charter board lawyers have also billed the city $297,000. The board ruled Spencer violated rules by hiring employees without city council approval, but an appeals court overturned the decision.

In the pending ethics case, Spencer is accused of awarding city contracts to members of his campaign without going through the normal bidding process.

All of the cases stem from 2012.

FBI agents searched Spencer’s home and Reading city hall in July. He hasn’t been charged with a crime.

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Information from: Reading Eagle, http://www.readingeagle.com/

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