- Associated Press - Monday, January 22, 2018

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - The Latest on the federal corruption trial of Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski (all times local):

5:10 p.m.

The mayor of Pennsylvania’s third-largest city is heard on tape complaining about a law firm that gave him a campaign contribution of only $100 after he awarded the firm millions of dollars in legal work.

The federal corruption trial of Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski got underway Monday. Pawlowski is charged with trading city contracts for campaign cash. He says he’s innocent.

Two of the Democratic mayor’s former political consultants secretly recorded their conversations with Pawlowski. In one tape, he talks about a law firm that’s seeking additional legal work from the city. He complains about the firm’s paltry campaign contribution.

Jonathan Saidel, a former Philadelphia city controller who was trying to drum up business for the firm, tells jurors he found Pawlowski’s talk about city work and campaign cash to be “blatant.”

___

11:35 a.m.

A federal prosecutor says the mayor of Allentown, Pennsylvania “sold his office” to campaign donors.

Opening statements were held Monday in the corruption trial of Democrat Ed Pawlowski.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Wzorek (ZOHR’-ek) told jurors in Allentown that Pawlowski rigged city contracts in favor of law firms and businesses that gave him money for campaigns for governor and U.S. Senate.

He says Pawlowski retaliated against companies that refused to play along or didn’t give sufficiently.

Defense attorney Jack McMahon denies an explicit connection between city work and campaign contributions. He accused the government of relying on “conniving, morally bankrupt” witnesses to build its case.

Pawlowski plans to testify in his own defense.

The mayor won re-election in November and began his fourth term this month.

___

10:35 p.m.

Opening statements are scheduled to begin in the federal corruption trial of the mayor of Pennsylvania’s third-largest city.

Prosecutors say Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski ran a pay-to-play scheme. He’s accused of trading more than $150,000 in city contracts for campaign donations that fueled his aborted runs for governor and U.S. Senate.

The Democrat says he’s innocent. His attorney says prosecutors are peddling a “false narrative” about Pawlowski.

A jury will hear opening statements on Monday in Allentown.

Pawlowski faces accusations of fraud, bribery, attempted extortion and lying to the FBI. The most serious charges carry a maximum prison term of 20 years each.

The mayor won re-election in November and began his fourth term this month.


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